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Williamson unfazed by Campbell

Image: Williamson: Ready

Newcastle defender Mike Williamson is looking forward to battling Sol Campbell for a first-team shirt.

Centre-half relishing battle

Newcastle defender Mike Williamson insists he does not feel threatened by the arrival of former England international Sol Campbell at St James' Park. Instead the 26-year-old admits he is looking forward to the battle for a first-team shirt ahead of the trip to Manchester City on Sunday. Williamson has started all six of the Magpies' league games this season but could find himself sat on the bench if manager Chris Hughton decides to hand a starting role to the fully-fit Campbell at Eastlands. However, Williamson is relishing the battle and sees the experienced 36-year-old as the perfect mentor as he looks to establish himself as a top-flight player.


He said: "Sol is a player I have always admired and looked at from afar through his career. "When he signed 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. "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 and that's part of why you want to test yourself against the best players." Williamson has already been impressed by the quality and professionalism of Campbell, who has been capped 73 times by England in a stellar career for club and country. The pair played alongside each other in the thrilling Carling Cup win at Chelsea when Williamson entered the fray as a second-half substitute.
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."

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