Danny Simpson

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

With Newcastle's passage into the group stages of the Europa League secured after Thursday night's win over Atromitos, Danny Simpson has turned his attention to progressing in the Capital One Cup - and knocking out his boyhood team.

The Magpies were drawn away to Manchester United in the third round draw which was made during the game against the Greek side and will travel to Old Trafford next month in the week commencing 24th September.

Eccles-born Simpson was with the Red Devils for seven years after progressing through their youth system but helped Alan Pardew's side take four points off the Reds last season with vital goal-line clearances home and away.

And now he's looking forward to another return to his old stomping ground - after insisting that the competition is one Newcastle can focus on alongside their European commitments.

"It didn't surprise me, to be honest, that we got someone like them but it'll be good," he told nufc.co.uk.

"I'm sure the fans will love going down there in a cup game and obviously everyone knows about me and my time at Man United so I'll be looking forward to that game, coming back to see some old friends - and hopefully turning them over and going through.

"We want to do well in all our competitions. We know it's going to be a tough season with European games now but we'll manage it.

"This is what we wanted. This is what I wanted when I first came here and it's what everyone else wants: to play in the Europe, play in the cups, play in the league and go right on until the end of the season and be involved in as many cup competitions as we can come the last couple of months of the season."

The draw for the Europa League group stages takes place at Friday lunchtime, so Simpson and his team-mates will be gathered around a training ground television to see who Newcastle will face on their return to continental competition.

"I'm sure we all will be," he said. "We're interested to see what kind of teams we're going to get. It's going to be a good campaign and we're all looking forward to it."

Their place in the draw was guaranteed following a hard-fought win against Greek opposition, with Haris Vuckic's first-half goal giving United a 1-0 win on the night and a 2-1 success overall.

Atromitos finished fourth in their domestic league last season and Simpson insisted: "They were in Europa League qualification for a reason and they weren't a bad team.

"We wish we would have won 2-0 or 3-0 but their keeper made some good saves and they hung in and took it to the last minute.

"We just had to dig deep and get through and the main thing is that we got through.

"I don't think Tim (Krul) had too much do to and their keeper had a lot to do. I think they had a lot of possession but we had the best chances.

"We kept a clean sheet and at home, that's what you want to do. We want to make this place a fortress and we've won both our games at home this season now and so we move on to Sunday."

Despite it being a home game, the Club's new third/European kit - which went on sale this week - was debuted on Thursday and Simpson was pleased to get it off to a winning start.

"It was the first time we wore the kit and it's not a bad kit to be fair," he said.

"Like I said, we were at home and we got a decent crowd. We want a good a good European run and we were at home and we got a clean sheet and a win so that's all you can ask for."

Click here to buy the new third/European kit