Williamson - We can cope
Mike Williamson is confident Newcastle can handle the loss of Fabricio Coloccini and press ahead with their efforts to secure a top-six finish.
Last Updated: 29/03/12 3:01pm
Mike Williamson is confident Newcastle can handle the loss of skipper Fabricio Coloccini to injury and press ahead with their efforts to secure a top-six finish.
The Magpies will host Liverpool on Sunday shorn of the services of their captain as he continues to nurse a hamstring complaint suffered against West Brom.
Coloccini is expected to sit out two or three fixtures, although the damage is not as bad as first feared.
With Steven Taylor out with a ruptured Achilles tendon, Newcastle are short on specialist cover at centre-half.
That has placed more pressure on Williamson to perform alongside James Perch, but he is convinced the Magpies can cope without their influential on-field leader for a couple of weeks.
He told the club's official website: "It's a big loss.
"Colo been huge for us this season. He's not only our captain, but also a fantastic player.
"But the second half at West Brom showed that we have enough in the squad to cope without him while he is out.
"Perchy came into the middle and he has been one of our best players in recent weeks.
"He proved again that he can step in, be it at left-back, centre-half or wherever, and do a brilliant job."
Victory for Newcastle this weekend would see them open up a seemingly insurmountable gap on Liverpool, but Williamson is aware that the Reds will not give up on their own top-six ambitions without a fight.
He said: "Liverpool have the likes of [Luis] Suarez, Andy [Carroll], [Stewart] Downing and many others who can hurt you. They have some fantastic players.
"It will be tough but hopefully if we can apply ourselves like we did last weekend at West Brom, then it can be a good game.
"We are carrying some momentum at the moment and have got a huge chance against Liverpool.
"There is a great buzz about the place at the moment. We are a hard-working group of lads with a good mentality and, obviously off the back of two good wins, we are looking forward to the big game on Sunday."
Meanwhile, Newcastle's Premier League trip to Chelsea has been re-arranged for Wednesday, 2nd May with a 7.45pm kick-off.
The fixture, which was initially due to take place at Stamford Bridge on 14th April, has been moved because of the Blues' progress to the FA Cup semi-finals.
Alan Pardew's men will head for London four days after the trip to Wigan and four before Manchester City bring down the curtain on the club's home campaign at St James' Park.