By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Danny Simpson is no stranger to European football, and the full-back cannot wait to get back to action against Bordeaux on Thursday night.
During his time as a youngster at Manchester United, the full-back made three appearances in the Champions League for the Red Devils - twice against Dynamo Kiev and once against Roma.
That was five years ago, and now in the black and white stripes of Newcastle, Simpson has the chance to experience a European buzz all over again, having recovered from a recent hamstring injury.
"I played three times in Europe for Man Utd and it's special," Simpson told nufc.co.uk.
"You are playing against the best teams from across the continent, and they are night games too which you cannot beat because of the atmosphere.
"They are really something special and I'm looking forward to it
"I'm glad to be back training with the lads and am looking forward to playing again. You don't want injuries and you want everybody fit, but with a couple of injuries we've got at the moment it gives me an opportunity to get back in the team and try to perform well.
"I can't wait to get as many minutes under my belt as I can, hopefully play well and help the team win."
Simpson has been ruled out of the Magpies' last five games in all competitions through a hamstring strain sustained against Aston Villa.
And he revealed that watching matches, as opposed to playing in them, took some getting used to.
"I was watching the Everton game on television and I tried to think about when the last time I watched the lads was," said Simpson.
"It was nearly two years ago when Hatem broke his leg against Manchester City!
"I don't get injured that much so it's even more frustrating when you do get a little niggle, but that's football I guess.
"It's tough when you are used to being involved in the squad. It's been frustrating to watch but I've been supporting the team like any fan."