By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Devastated Danny Simpson revealed that Monday's stoppage time defeat at Arsenal hurt him more than any other loss this season, and admitted to feeling "sick" after Thomas Vermaelen's late, late goal.
And the ever-honest right-back confessed that he felt partly responsible for the result, as he was stranded upfield with cramp when the Gunners' Belgian defender popped up in the box to break Magpies hearts with almost the last kick of the night.
In an otherwise excellent display, Simpson kept the exciting Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain quiet for most of the match and made vital goal-line clearances from Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny as United battled to preserve a point in the face of heavy home pressure.
But in the fifth minute of added-on time, he could do nothing to deny the hosts and told nufc.co.uk: "I feel sick, I'm not going to lie.
"Last week it was us who got the late goal. We were on a high and it felt good. This week, after the effort we put in, it's sickening to to come here, play our hearts out and concede like that. It hurts.
"On the last goal, I wish I could have got back but I got cramp. I feel more gutted for me than for the lads; they're not saying it's my fault but I couldn't get back. I just cramped up, I think with all the work we put in. It was in my position at the end.
"The lads are gutted but I think we can take some positives from it. We looked really good in defence, solid again, and we've got to take that into Norwich at the weekend. If we work like that against Norwich, we'll be fine."
Newcastle were on the backfoot for much of the match, but in stark contrast to their last two visits to London - when they conceded five against Fulham and Tottenham - United were resilient, commanding and brave.
"We were back to ourselves again," Simpson said. "Even though they had a lot of the ball, I don't think they opened us up too much apart from maybe the first ten minutes.
"When we did break and countered them, we did look threatening but I think sometimes we were just tired and we didn't have that extra oomph to try and score.
"I think we would have taken a draw. Our record in the last couple of seasons against Arsenal has been really good so it hurts, it really hurts. Out of all the games this season, it hurts the most.
"It's gutting, but we have to try to pick ourselves up over the next couple of days and get ready for Norwich."