Williamson-Hall Partnership Likely To Continue At Derby

Competition for places at Newcastle is not more intense than at any other time this season, and that has to be something good for the club.

Mike Williamson – very impressive so far

First of all it’s a vital time in the season, and we need to be able to rest some of our players.

To have other players come in and then play so well that it’s difficult to drop them, has to be delighting manager Chris Hughton.

Hughton rested top players Alan Smith and Fabricio Coloccini on Friday night, and they deserved the rest, but now they come back into contention – maybe – for tomorrow’s game at Derby County.

As far as the strikers go, we now have five, so there’s significant competition to get a start up front.

Local lad Shola Ameobi is pressing for a start,  and so is in-form Danish striker Peter Lovenkrands, who scored another brace of opportunist goals last time out – as a sub.

Hughton told the Evening Chronicle today:

“The team is not picking itself like it was early in the season.”  “We want competition for places and when anybody comes in we demand certain qualities from them.”

“They have to show the determination and spirit like we did on Friday night against Cardiff.”

“I don’t mind having difficult decisions to make, that has to be a good thing.”  “Alan Smith is hoping to be back and Fabricio is doubtful with a slight hamstring.”

“Colo could have played on Friday but we decided as a precautionary measure to leave him out.”

If Coloccin is doubtful with a hamstring injury, then we expect Fitz Hall and the impressive Mike Williamson, both 6’4″ tall, to continue at the heart of Newcastle’s defense, since they looked sure and steady on Friday night.

We know Derby County will be fighting tomorrow night, as through their lives depended on it, and a sold-out crowd is expected at the Pride Park Stadium – so it will not be an easy game.

Chris continued:

“They will be lifted by the result they got in their last game at Pride Park against Forest and they will have the belief they can pull off another big result.”

“I’m expecting it to be tough, there will be a full house at Derby and they won’t be making it easy.”

“We’ve got to harden ourselves to that though because this is what it will be like in the run-in from here on in.”

“They will all be difficult because now we are not only looking for the victories to keep us where we want to be, but the factor that every team wants to beat us this season is also still very much against us.”

“It would be great to go there and win.”   “What we have to show is the same willingness that we have all season to go out and chalk up wins. I don’t expect Forest and West Brom to lose many games.”

“And if they aren’t losing that means we have to keep on winning enough matches.”

Now that we hear Coloccini is struggling to be fit for tomorrow night, it would be silly to risk him, and we expect Hughton to therefore continue with his new centre-back pairing of Mike Williamson and Fitz Hall.

And of course we also have Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini – hey our squad is starting to look a lot better these days. 😀

Comments welcome.

6 comments so far

  • Davies

    Feb 8, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #1

    You have to admit, our defence looks better now than it has in years. Alright, so we’re not facing Man Utd or Chelsea every week, but given the rich goal scoring form of Cardiff’s strikers and many other’s in the league, we actually look much better than I thought we would this season, especially since Hall, Williamson and van Aanholt signed up.

    We actually look like a decent team. Some of these lads will cut it in the EPL as well. Shame we won’t get to keep hold of van Aanholt.

  • Captain Beefheart

    Feb 8, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #2

    First post, howdy!

    The defence will not alone win promotion, as a steady stream of wasteful draws this season proves, and (as we found out last term) they all add up one way or another come the day of reckoning.

    We are not yet nailed on promotion certs, and I can still see it all slipping away unless we start treating lower teams with a little more contempt. Sacrificing the odd point to go after all 3 statistically makes more sense, but too often of late the stodgy midfield just doesn’t seem up for it.

    Hopefully the pressure for places following the new arrivals might provide the incentive; that plus Smudger seeing a psychiatrist about goal aversion therapy (he could double up with Jonas on the couch and save a bob or two on sessions) then getting some serious sprint training for the lot of them in between the pies and never ever ever playing Butt in a starting role again.

  • Lasse Nielsen, Denmark

    Feb 8, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #3

    Thats how I think we should lineup against Derby:

    – Harper –
    – Simpson, Williamson, Colo, v. Aanholt –
    – Routledge, Nolan, Guthrie, Jonas –
    – Løvenkrands, Carrol

  • The Entertainers

    Feb 8, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #4

    I’ll be honest, for me the jury is still out on Williamson and Hall as PL defenders and i thought wrongly that Cardiffs strikers would have giving them a tough time………hope they both continue to prove me wrong.

    Praise goes to CH too for shuffling his pack at the right time. The midfield, arguabley our strongest area on paper has looked worn in recent games! CH made a very good decision to leave out Butt and Smith and give Guthrie a well deserved chance in the middle.

    Smith was outstanding early on this season and i’m sure will make a return to 1st team action soon. Perhaps Nolan will get a deserved rest next.

    CH has made some great decisions this season (ok hes made some poor ones: Leicester) but as a rookie manager hes learning fast and am pleasantly surprised at his achievements.

  • MacToon

    Feb 8, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #5

    The Entertainers, I agree and aslong as Hughton learns from his mistakes and not go back to a 5 man midfield we should have an entertaining team to watch……… 🙂

    Colo must be rested if he’s not 100%, both Williamson and Hall played well and certainly deserve more playing time.

    Smith should be benched unless Nolan really wants a rest!

  • Toonmadtom

    Feb 9, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #6

    i think the new additions to the squad have settled in quite well. i think we should play best the nite. i think once he breaks his duct he should be firing on all cylinders.


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