Williamson ready to stand tall for Newcastle Utd against Cardiff City

Mike Williamson
Mike Williamson

MIKE Williamson’s ready to stand tall for Newcastle United – and shore up the club’s defence.

Williamson came off the bench at Goodison Park with Alan Pardew’s side trailing by three goals after a shambolic first half.

The 29-year-old helped United get to grips with Everton’s on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku.

After the game Pardew suggested he was thinking of starting Williamson ahead of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa against Cardiff City on Saturday.

Yanga-Mbiwa made way for Williamson after a dreadful first-half performance.

And Williamson – yet to start a Premier League game this season – is poised to make his 100th career start for the club.

“It’s a big club, and there’s plenty of competition for places,” Williamson said.

“It’s up to the manager to pick the team. I’m sure he’ll pick the 11 players and bench that will be suitable for Cardiff.”

Asked if he was the type of player to knock on a manager’s door, he added: “Most of the lads just let their football do the talking.

“I just had to win my tackles and headers.

“The manager knows what he’s going to get from me, and I think he just wanted to freshen it up.”

Pardew – who also withdrew the anonymous Hatem Ben Arfa at the break – demanded a reaction from his players at the break.

And goals from Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy capped a much-improved performance from Newcastle.

“There was a reaction,” said Williamson. “The manager said a few things, and the response was good.

“But it was a frustrating night overall as we didn’t play how we can.

“Our offensive players worked hard, but we didn’t get what we wanted.

“It’s a very difficult place to come, especially when Everton play like they did in the first half.

“They’re big and physical, and technically they’re good as well. We struggled a little bit.”

“Credit to the lads, they came out and restored some pride. Gouff was a bit unlucky with his chip. We hit the post, and Loic had a good strike right at the death.”

Almost 1,000 United fans travelled to Merseyside for the game, and the chanted “we want our money back” after Everton’s third goal.

“All I can say is that we’re equally if not more disappointed than them,” said Williamson.

“We’re frustrated. We want to get back on the training pitch and put it right.

“The fans can see it, and the players are the same. We’re striving to find that consistency and balance.

“We’ve got some fantastic players. We struggled, but Everton are a fantastic team with a fantastic manager. They’re still unbeaten, which says a lot.”