Danny Simpson has come into a side with a tremendous team spirit, not unlike that which has existed for many years at his former club, Manchester United.
Danny Simpson – similarities between the two Uniteds
Danny has played at many clubs on loan over the last few seasons, including Royal Antwerp, Sunderland, Ipswich Town, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle, but he seems very pleased he is no longer a player continually out on loan.
Danny said today:
“It feels like something has come off my shoulders and I have come away from that tag,”
“People would say, ‘Do you want to go back (to Manchester United) or not?’ and it does play on your mind. I have settled here, it is permanent. I have moved up here and that makes a difference.”
“People thought I was just saying it but the first few weeks I felt settled, comfortable, and the lads made me settle in. It is a good town.”
Last season the team spirit at Newcastle was probably the worst it’s been for many a long season, and that was just one of the things that was very wrong with the Tyneside club.
But one thing Chris Hughton has done this season, with the help of the senior players left on Tyneside, is to get the group together, and the team spirit this season has gone form a weakness to a definite strength.
Danny talked about that poor team spirit of last season on Tyneside:
“That is something I heard,” “Some lads would come in, train, not speak to each other and go home after training. This season it is the opposite. We get on well and spend time with each other.”
“That family atmosphere (at Man United) comes from Sir Alex (Ferguson) and he wants everyone to get on with each other off the pitch,” “You have to speak to each other outside training.”
The Newcastle players regularly go out with each other, and have gone to restaurants. played 10-pin bowling, and played computer games together.
It seems the transformation of the team spirit on Tyneside started with that trip to Ireland in July, and Chris is said to be considering going back there this summer.
“When you are winning the confidence is there and you just want to play,”
“Off the pitch we have done team bonding things like we have gone for meals, which I don’t think they did last season.”
“We have gone bowling, and I know it is a silly thing but we are all online on a PlayStation.”
“We have our headsets and are on speakerphone. We have eight to ten lads to link up from our homes in our spare time.”
“We all come together and shoot each other! You come to training and have a laugh about it saying, ‘I killed you more!’”
“It makes training a laugh and breaks down barriers. If anyone needs pulling into line in training or a match we can say it to each other because we know each other well.”
“I was having a game against Fraizer Campbell (his former Manchester United team-mate, now at Sunderland) last night.”
“As footballers we can’t go out all the time so it is a good way of being at home, bonding and having a laugh.”
The Magpies have a four game winning streak going right now, and the only thing the Newcastle fans want to see is that streak extended.
The longer we can keep this winning streak going, the better chance the club will have of getting promotion this season, which is really the only thing that matters right now.
“Everyone is full of confidence after the 6-1 against Barnsley and what is it? Four (wins) on the bounce now?” “We had a rocky patch a few weeks ago but we have to keep winning.”
“The staff drum it in to us not to be complacent every day. We have loads of games left and we know with three games in a week if you don’t perform and others do, your lead could be gone. It has been such a long season that we just want to get the job done.”
“It is not so much fear of failing that drives us so much as we have put loads of hard work in and come so far. After everything that has gone on we are determined not to mess up.”
“We have a lot of lads who played for years in the Premier League. You want to get back to playing at Old Trafford and places like that.”
“We also have young lads who have not had that and want to prove themselves.”
It seems obvious the staff at the club are drumming into the players not to get complacent, and it’s working because the lads seem to come out of the gates like a steam train in most of their games this season.
They are certainly underestimating nobody.
Let’s hope that continues this afternoon