Premier League

Williamson enjoying Sol battle

TEAMtalk Media Group, TEAMtalk Media Group
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02/10/2010 11:00 +0100

The 26-year-old defender could have been forgiven for seeing the arrival of the hugely experienced 36-year-old this summer as a major threat, having forced his way into the side during the Magpies' promotion campaign. However, as he prepares for Sunday's difficult trip to Manchester City, Williamson is revelling in the opportunity to work with a man who has plied his trade at the highest level for much of the 18 years since he came through the ranks at Tottenham. Asked if Campbell's arrival had come as a blow, Williamson said: "No, not one bit, I looked on it as a massive opportunity. "He is a player I have always admired and looked at from afar through his career, and I just thought what an amazing opportunity it was to learn from such a character day in, day out. "I just thought it was a great opportunity because I am still learning my trade and trying to ply it at the top level, and it's a good thing for me. "Coming to a club like Newcastle, you are never going to be handed the shirt - there is always going to be competition, and I know that. "That's healthy, that's part of why you want to test yourself against the best players." Campbell made his senior debut for the club in last Wednesday night's remarkable 4-3 Carling Cup victory at Chelsea, initially partnering Argentinian Fabricio Coloccini and then substitute Williamson. The former Torquay, Southampton, Wycombe, Watford and Portsmouth player returned for last Sunday's disappointing 2-1 home defeat by Stoke, although Campbell had earlier failed a fitness test on a slight thigh strain. However, he is fit and available for the trip to Eastlands, although whether or not manager Chris Hughton opts to throw him back in or stick with his tried and tested combination remains to be seen. But whatever Hughton decides, Williamson is already learning from Campbell, capped 73 times by England. He said: "It's everything about him day to day, the way he handles himself in training, the communication, how he talks, how he organises. "He is a very domineering character and people listen to him because of his experience - he has got 70-odd England caps under his belt. "Against Chelsea, I just sat and watched him play and took little tips about how he organised the players around him, because he is so good at that." Hughton watched City draw 1-1 with Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday evening, and knows opposite number Roberto Mancini has enviable options for tomorrow's encounter. He said: "They are a team full of quality. You look at the bench they had and perhaps even more so, look at the players who didn't even make the bench."

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