Simpson - No let up from Newcastle
Danny Simpson has insisted Newcastle will not allow themselves to relax after taking a huge step towards a top-six Barclays Premier League finish.
The Magpies established a 10-point gap over seventh-placed Everton by beating Liverpool, who are a further point adrift in eighth, 2-0 at St James' Park on Sunday. While manager Alan Pardew continues to laugh off talk of a late charge for a Champions League place, no-one within the camp is contemplating anything other than more victories.
Simpson said: "We have given ourselves a great chance. We have won the last three on the bounce now, and that's the first time we have done that this season. Maybe Liverpool will hopefully now give up and let them concentrate on the cup they are in, but anything can happen in the league."
He added: "We have got to stay focused. The Gaffer said with 10 games to go: 'The season starts now, let's enjoy it and make the most of it.'
"We have started off with three wins on the bounce, so we have got to keep going, and we have got a good couple of games coming in."
Sixth place could yet net Newcastle a return to European football, although only if the two clubs who contest the FA Cup final qualify via the league.
But whatever happens between now and the last final whistle, Pardew's men have enjoyed an excellent campaign, and head into a potentially exciting conclusion with their fate in their own hands.
Captain for the day Jonas Gutierrez said: "We are happy with where we are now. It's a good gap that we have opened over seventh place, so it's important for us.
"But we have a lot of points to go. The only thing that's good is that it depends on us where we are going to finish.
"We have to show why we are where we are and focus on the next game. That's the most important thing."