Simpson calls for focus with Champions League spot in Newcastle's sights

The Magpies defender insists that the team cannot afford to be complacent despite the side's impressive season so far and hopes that they can carry their form on until the end

Danny Simpson has insisted that Newcastle cannot afford to relax on their laurels with a qualification spot for next season’s Champions League still in their sights.

The Magpies have made the most of an inconsistent Chelsea to draw level on points with the London side, just five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham after Sunday’s 2-0 Premier League victory over Liverpool.

Talk of Champions League qualification has been played down by boss Alan Pardew, but Simpson is looking to carry the club’s recent impressive form on into the final seven fixtures in an attempt to pull off a feat that was deemed inconceivable at the beginning of the campaign.

Newcastle are 12/1 with Sportingbet to finish in the Premier League top four

"We have given ourselves a great chance," the right-back told reporters.

"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 [FA] Cup they are in, but anything can happen in the league.

"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."

"We have given ourselves a great chance. We've won the last three on the bounce, the first time we've done that this season"

- Danny Simpson

The Magpies have gone from strength to strength in recent times, despite the departures of both striker Andy Carroll and defender Jose Enrique to Liverpool within the last 14 months, and Simpson believes that the team have coped well with the losses.

"That's football. They have moved on and we have moved on. When they moved on, we brought new players in,” the former Manchester United man continued.

"They have gone on another journey and we are on one now, and we are putting ourselves in a great position for European football."