Newcastle confidence high after Arsenal draw - Simpson

Danny Simpson
Simpson made his derby debut in last season's 5-1 destruction of Sunderland

Newcastle United defender Danny Simpson says the Magpies go into Saturday's derby with Sunderland in confident mood after last weekend's draw with Arsenal.

Simpson, 24, was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet against the Gunners to secure an opening day point.

"We've got that point against one of the best teams in the league," Simpson told BBC Newcastle.

"It gives us that confidence now to go to the Stadium of Light with a point on the board."

Simpson added: "We'll go into next weekend stronger and fitter."

Having joined Newcastle from Manchester United in January 2010, Simpson had his first taste of the derby atmosphere in last October's 5-1 victory against the Black Cats at St James' Park, and also featured in January's 1-1 draw on Wearside.

Newcastle could field a string of derby debutants in the game at the Stadium of Light, with players such as Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and Demba Ba all set for their first experience of the Tyne-Wear rivalry.

However, defensively Alan Pardew has emphasised continuity, with goalkeeper Tim Krul and outfield players Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor and Simpson all regulars from last season who lined up for the season's opener.

Simpson believes this continuity will make the Magpies harder to beat.

"The more games you play, the more experience you get, the more confidence you get," he said.

"The more we train and the more we work on it, the more clean sheets we want to get.

"We know we have got players that can score goals, so if we do our job at the back we've got a chance of winning."

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