Belfast Telegraph

Williamson remaining grounded

Defender Mike Williamson is refusing to look too far ahead as Newcastle attempt to remain in the upper reaches of the Barclays Premier League table.

The 28-year-old's return from injury has coincided with a resurgence on Tyneside which has seen the Magpies end a run of six league games without victory and claim wins over Bolton and champions Manchester United.

However, as he prepared for Sunday's home clash with QPR, Williamson was refusing to look too far ahead as some fans dream of European qualification, and said: "It's a cliche, but we are taking every game as it comes. For me personally, when you start getting carried away with targets and looking where we could finish, it just gets a bit too much."

He added: "You take every day as it comes and then come the last game of the season, we will see where that brings us."

Newcastle established themselves as the latest Premier League surprise package when they went 11 games unbeaten at the start of the campaign.

But with 20 games played, they continue to rub shoulders with the division's big spenders despite having rebuilt their squad on a more humble budget, and that is a source of immense satisfaction.

In addition, they have managed to do it in some style with Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye having produced sublime strikes in the 3-0 victory over United, while Hatem Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez scored final individual goals to knock Blackburn out of the FA Cup last weekend.

Williamson said: "People were waiting for the bubble to burst, but we have just got an honest group of lads - although saying there are no superstars after the goals the other day, you would beg to differ.

"But we have just got an honest group and we know if we carry on working hard and applying ourselves in the way we do, we have got goals in the team and we have got a back four and a midfield which can keep clean sheets.

"Everybody needs a bit of luck along the way. Even the top teams go through sticky periods like we have done, but no, I am not really surprised. I know how hard the lads worked in pre-season, the togetherness when they were away, and you just feel the bond we have had for the last couple of years. It's just carried on."


From Belfast Telegraph