Gabriel Obertan Danny Simpson

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


Alan Pardew believes Newcastle United duo Danny Simpson and Gabriel Obertan have benefited as players and people from flying the Old Trafford nest.

The pair both swapped Manchester United for Tyneside in recent years, with Simpson making the switch - initially on loan - in August 2009, and Obertan following suit in August this year.

And having struggled to make a real impact with the Red Devils both are now arguably first choice picks in Newcastle's starting line-up, with boss Alan Pardew praising their development.

"At Manchester United there's so many world class players that it's very difficult to break in," explained Pardew.

"Like all football clubs, you have to earn the right to get in a football team. Sometimes you need to go away to make yourself, and both of those lads have done that.

"Obertan has only had a handful of games for us, but he's been superb. And Danny has cemented his position here.

"So it's a good time for them to go back and show that they've grown as players and as individuals. And you can only do that by getting first team football."

It has been almost 40 years since Newcastle triumphed at Old Trafford - a 2-0 win on 12th February, 1972 - and since then Manchester United have gone on to largely dominate the English game, particularly in recent years.

But Pardew insists records are there to be broken and has called upon his players to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves on Saturday.

"If you're going to Old Trafford against that quality of players and the atmosphere that is created in that stadium, then of course you're going to find it very difficult," said the manager.

"The odds are that you are not going to get many victories, and 1972 suggests that maybe we are due one.

"You need a bit of luck. You need sometimes the ball to roll your way or fortune to favour you, but you also need to force that.

"We have to force a situation where they might make a mistake or we have a forward running beyond, they commit themselves and go down to ten men. We have to force an issue like that.

"It is crucial that when a chance like that comes along we take it, because we won't get many chances."