Mike Williamson

By Tom Easterby


After another satisfying shut-out, Mike Williamson told nufc.co.uk that Sunday's 1-0 win over Real Sociedad was the perfect way to prepare for the start of the Premier League season next week.

Moussa Sissoko's second-half strike was enough to see off Jacoba Arrasate's side, who competed at the highest level in club football last season, featuring in the Champions League.

This Sunday will see reigning champions Manchester City travel to Tyneside to kick off the defence of their title and, as Williamson explains, the Magpies are well equipped for the challenge having seen off the Spaniards at St. James' Park.

"It was nice, a good run out for us," said the 30-year-old centre-back.

"The gaffer said they were a forward-thinking team like Manchester City, with progressive full-backs and things like that, so it's been a taste of what we can expect.

"It was a great run out, a great fitness test and there were a lot of positives to come out of it, so it was pleasing."

Tim Krul was afforded a comfortable afternoon between the sticks as the Txuriurdin failed to seriously threaten a solid United backline which included new boy Daryl Janmaat.

Williamson insists keeping a clean sheet is all the more satisfying when a new-look Newcastle side, for who Emmanuel Riviere, Remy Cabella and Jack Colback made their first starts at home, carry a real, potent goal threat.

"For me, as defender, first and foremost you want build off that, you always want a clean sheet and we know with these players in the team that we've got the quality to score goals," he said.

"The boys are integrated, we've got a great team spirit so I think we're feeling as though we're ready to start the season now."

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