Williamson thrilled by return

The 28-year-old kept Steven Taylor out of the side last season

until breaking his arm in May, and in only his second appearance

this term in a Carling Cup clash with Scunthorpe he suffered an

ankle injury that would eventually rule him out for four months.

With Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini in great form as Newcastle went

11 games unbeaten, Williamson’s absence did not seem a major

problem, but that changed earlier this month when the pair both

suffered injuries in a defeat against Chelsea. Taylor was ruled out

for the season by an Achilles problem and Newcastle were forced to

play the likes of James Perch and Danny Simpson out of position.

Having conceded only eight goals in their first 11 matches, the

Magpies shipped 10 in four games prior to the Boxing Day success at

the Reebok Stadium. Williamson said: “It’s been a while. It’s been

very frustrating but very nice to come back, and with a clean sheet

and a win, so it couldn’t be better. “At the time (I suffered the

injury) I was trying to run it off and I didn’t know what I’d done

because it was a strange twist with my knee and my ankle. But the

next day I realised the length of time it was going to be. “It’s

one of those things in football, an occupational hazard. “It’s been

a long time to reflect but I’ve done a lot of good rehab, the

medical team have worked me hard and I feel good. “The last week of

my rehab was accelerated somewhat. My thoughts go out to Steven,

who’s done very well. I’m sure he’ll come back fitter and

stronger.” The signing of former Wycombe and Torquay player

Williamson from Portsmouth in January 2010 was typical of

Newcastle’s more low-key approach to recruitment in recent years.

The defender had never played in the Premier League prior to the

Magpies’ promotion that season but he found his feet quickly and is

looking forward to another run of games. He said: “I’ve had a good

period in the team and it’s just unfortunate I’ve had a couple of

injuries. It would be nice now to stay injury free and concentrate

on putting in some good performances.” Yesterday’s win ended a run

of only two points from six games for Newcastle but Williamson

insisted there was never any sense of heads dropping at St James’

Park “From the first game of the season the lads have kept the same

momentum going on the training ground every day,” he said. “You can

see the spirit’s high and everyone’s positive. “The media and the

fans might say one thing but the lads know they’ve got enough

talent and togetherness to grind a result out against any team.

“The results haven’t gone for us in the last few games but there’s

been no need to panic. It was just a matter of time before things

clicked back into place.” And returning to winning ways could not

have come at a better time, with a trip to Liverpool to come on

Friday before a home match against Manchester United next

Wednesday. Williamson added: “Those are games you always look for

on the calendar when the fixtures come out. They’re experiences to

relish and we’ll take confidence from this result.”