DANNY Simpson has claimed that Marlon Harewoods roughhouse tactics could help Newcastle United muscle their way back to the Premier League.
Harewood made an instant impression in Wednesday nights 1-1 draw with QPR, tapping home a close-range equaliser within nine minutes of coming off the bench to replace Nile Ranger.
The striker, who is at the beginning of a three-month loan deal from Aston Villa, provides a physical alternative to the three other senior strikers on Newcastles books, and having felt his full force in training, Simpson is confident the 30-year-old will prove a valuable addition to the Magpies attacking arsenal.
Ive played against Marlon in training and hes so strong, said the full-back, who made a welcome return from injury on Wednesday. I marked him in the first training session after I came back from injury, and hes big, strong and powerful. He looks to roll you and try to put you on the back foot he was trying to rough me up all the time.
Hes got so much good experience and hes desperate to play and score goals. I feel like hes desperate to be here he certainly doesnt want to come here and sit on the bench.
Hes been around for years and done the business at other clubs, and we just know that hes going to score. Look at Wednesday night, you just knew hed come on and get a goal.
This weeks strike was Harewoods first league strike since he scored the final goal of a 4-0 win over Bolton Wanderers back in April 2008.
The striker struggled to break into the Aston Villa first team during his two years at Villa Park, with 28 of his 29 Premier League appearances for the club coming from the substitutes bench, but Simpson does not feel that his lack of action has blunted his goalscoring threat.
I didnt know it was 18 months since he had scored, he said. Id not have thought that the way hes looked in training or the games. You certainly didnt get that impression.
I dont think he had any nerves though because hes so experienced. Still, its nice for him to get the ball rolling. He can look to get some more for us now.
That first goal will help.
Strikers want to get their goal early and it will mean a lot to him to score his first goal at home.
Harewoods strike cancelled out Ben Watsons deflected early opener for QPR, and ensured Newcastle would maintain their unbeaten home record, even if it meant they dropped points at St James Park for the first time this season.
Last months 2-1 reverse at Blackpool remains their only defeat, but the brightness of QPRs display confirmed that the Magpies cannot afford to take anything for granted as they attempt to extend their lead at the top of the table.
It was definitely a wake-up call for us, admitted Simpson.
After Blackpool weve got a lot of good results, but fair play to QPR, they came at us and gave it a good go. Im not sure whether we were complacent, but they started well and there wasnt a lot we could do about the goal.
It was a shock to go 1-0 down and we werent good enough.
We cant go into games thinking were going to be able to roll teams over just because were Newcastle United.
But in this league we have a bit to spare and the character to get out of situations like that.
Newcastles home game with Derby County on Monday, December 28 will now kick-off at the later time of 5.20pm.