Mike Williamson is now an important player for Newcastle, after being brought in from Portsmouth almost three years ago for a measly £1M, and Mike’s another one of Newcastle’s bargain buys, and he will return to the first team on Sunday to partner Steven Taylor, after Coloccini picked up a three match ban last Sunday at Liverpool, after being sent off late in the game.
Mike Williamson – marks Andy Carroll on Sunday
West Ham under Sam Allardyce have become a very physical team, and two of Newcastle’s best players over the last four years are returning to St. James’ Park on Sunday – Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan – and the Newcastle defense must keep a tight check on both players, and we need all three points on Sunday.
Cheick Tiote will also sit out this game, but he can return next Saturday when we entertain Swansea at St. James’ Park, because this is the third game of his three match ban.
This is what Mike said in the local press today:
“The extra Europa League games put a strain on things, and we’re obviously going to be missing a few players at the weekend and that doesn’t help. But we’ve got a good squad and we’ve proved we can cope in the past. Colo is a fantastic player and he’s our captain so he’ll be a big loss, but we’ve proved we can cope before and hopefully we can do that again.”
“Travelling over to Brugge and then playing in a really tough game is probably not the way you would choose to prepare for West Ham, but that’s what we have to deal with. We’re doing everything right behind the scenes to give ourselves the best chance of being ready.
“We’ve got a great coaching staff that are helping us to recover as best we can. Hopefully, the results should prove that.” “We don’t need reminding about Andy and Kevin – I’m sure they’ll be both relishing the opportunity to come back and play.”
“It will be tough, we know that. But if we can keep our spirit and levels of work-rate as high as they have been, hopefully our passing can come to the fore because that’s our big strength.” “I’ve had some decent battles with Andy on the training ground down the years. Every now and then we would line up against each other and it was always a decent contest.”
“It was good fun doing it in training so I just hope it’s as enjoyable if we have to do it for real. It’ll be a little bit more competitive on Sunday, I’m sure, but we both know plenty about each other’s game.” “I’m looking forward to it. As a defender, you always want to test yourself against the best players, and he certainly falls into that category.”
Mike turned 29 on Thursday, and Alan Pardew has said he will be trying some different things in this two game week, in the hope that the lads will be better and have more energy on Sunday afternoon – so we’ll have to see if his new strategy works.
But there’s no doubt that Newcastle have had too many draws this season so far, five in the 10 league games, and it’s wins we need to start climbing the league table.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org