PAUL Simpson hopes to sign off as manager with Northwich Victoria at the semi finals stage of the FA Trophy.

The former Stockport boss starts a new job in Portugal next week as head coach at an academy for teenage players released from professional clubs.

But he plans to plot a win against Football Conference club Newport first.

“I want to leave with the lads in the last four,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity that won’t come around too often, so I’ve told them to make the most of it.”

Simpson, 45, watched Vics thrash Hampton & Richmond Borough in the last round – his first match in charge since replacing Andy Preece as manager – to set up a last eight date with the Blue Square Bet Premier Exiles.

They are one of two teams from outside of non-league’s top tier – Wealdstone is the other – to have reached the latter stages.

Simpson said: “Nobody expected Northwich to get this far, so the pressure is all on Newport.

“That said, we’re not playing tomorrow’s match to make up the numbers; we want to get through.”

He will be without wide man Jordan Johnson (groin) through injury, but Tom Field is available again after serving a three-match suspension.

John Disney (ankle) and Lewis Short (shin) hope to make it too after playing in Tuesday’s thrilling Doodson Sport Cup defeat against Rushall Olympic.

Simpson will tell his players to repeat the performance that put paid to Hampton’s resistance.

He said: “We’ll need to hit those heights again.

“More important than that will be how the lads adapt mentally to playing in such an important match; how they deal with that will determine how hard we make life for Newport.”