Where There's A Will, There's A Way
Written by Newcastle Utd
Newcastle United FC
Mike Williamson spoke to nufc.co.uk about his determination to be a key United player this season
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Mike Williamson is determined to prove himself once again at St. James' Park, as he bids to help Newcastle United climb back into the upper reaches of the Barclays Premier League.
The centre-back has made 169 appearances for the Magpies in all competitions since arriving from Portsmouth in January 2010, and new head coach Steve McClaren will be the fourth boss he has played for on Tyneside.
Competition at the heart of United's defence is expected to be stiff next term, with Williamson, captain Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett and Jamaal Lascelles all currently in the running for a central berth.
But Williamson is relishing the battle to pull on the famous black and white shirt - just as he has always done - and believes he still has plenty to offer Newcastle.
"Whatever team I play for, I will always back my ability and back myself to play," the former Watford man told nufc.co.uk.
"I know I can have a good, positive effect on the team. That's what I have done since I arrived here and hopefully that's what will happen this season, too.
"I feel like I'm growing, learning and maturing all the time and I still have a big contribution to make to Newcastle.
"It's been an exceptional time here. I can't speak highly enough of the fans, the Club, the good and the bad.
"I have enjoyed every day of it, even the pressure that comes with playing for Newcastle. You have to enjoy that - it's why we are in the game, and if you can't handle the pressure, you are in the wrong job.
"I've loved every time I have pulled the shirt on and hopefully this season there will be plenty more."
Williamson is currently en route to Somerset where, for the third consecutive year, he and wife Jade will enjoy Glastonbury festival.
It is a chance to switch off from football following a gruelling season in which Newcastle only avoided relegation on the final day of the campaign.
And while Williamson is keen to ensure they have plenty to play for again when it comes to the last game next May, he means at the other end of the table.
"We showed character right at the end and pulled it out of the bag when it was needed," he continued, of that final fixture against West Ham.
"Hopefully everyone has gone away, recovered and we can build and make sure that doesn't happen again.
"I'd love to make sure there is pressure on the last game this year but for a very different - and better - reason. It would great to be pushing back into the top seven, where this Club should be.
"We have to learn from what happened last season, take lessons from it and ensure we are stronger for it this year."