Newcastle United must take the positives says Mike Williamson


MIKE Williamson is confident Newcastle United will learn valuable lessons from this season on and off the pitch – and come back stronger.

Alan Pardew’s side ended their Premier League campaign in 10th place after Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

United’s finish was an improvement on the previous campaign, when they fought a season-long battle against relegation before finishing 16th.

But the league table doesn’t tell the whole story, with Newcastle having been among the teams challenging for European football before the turn of the year.

United’s campaign, however, unravelled steadily in the second half of the season.

And fans have been highly vocal in calling for Pardew’s dismissal and protested against the direction of the club under owner Mike Ashley, who will keep faith with his manager.

Defender Williamson, a league ever-present since late September, feels the Magpies can continue its upward trajectory next season with the right investment this summer.

“We got a top-10 finish and we’ve got to look to build on that in the summer,” Williamson told SportMail.

“We’ve got to take the positives from the first half of the season, when we realised what we can do.

“We’ve got to learn from the second half of the season and try to build on it.”

Newcastle led at Anfield through a first-half Martin Skrtel own goal, but Liverpool came from behind to win thanks to goals from Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge, both from Steven Gerrard free-kicks.

United ended the game with nine men after the controversial dismissals of Shola Ameobi and substitute Paul Dummett.

“We’re disappointed,” said Williamson. “We had a gameplan and set our stall out and I thought it was quite effective. We were unlucky not to be 2-0 up at half time.

“But goals change games and it’s frustrating. That’s football.

“That’s why they’ve had a fantastic season – they’ve got quality to hurt you at any time.

“We thought we did well for 45 minutes. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.”