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Williamson: Fans right to have a go, but shouldn't question our commitment
MIKE WILLIAMSON believes Newcastle United supporters have every right to voice their disapproval at the club's current slide, but insists it would be unfair to question the squad’s commitment.
During the first half at Goodison Park on Monday night, the travelling Newcastle fans made their feelings clear with chants asking for their money back.
At that stage, Newcastle were three goals down after a horror show 45 minutes, but things improved after the break with Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy scoring.
A chunk of those travelling fans had already seen enough, though, and didn’t return for the second half. The Magpies’ poor start to the season has seen a growing sense of discontent amongst supporters with pressure mounting on Pardew and his side to turn things around.
But while Williamson, who made his first league appearance of the season coming on as a half time substitute for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa at Goodison Park, admits supporters have every right to have a go, but believes questioning the team’s efforts is wrong.
“It’s a difficult position because ultimately they are the life and soul of the football club and they pay their money, which can equate to quite a lot to come to away games,” the defender said.
“They have a right to voice their opinion but sometimes the players feel bad results are not for the want of trying.
“The lads are always trying to get the best results and they work very hard. It is difficult and I can see the frustration of both the players and the fans, but I think the supporter needs to know that on the training ground everyone here is working extremely hard to right the wrongs.
“Nobody is perfect, but I don’t think any player would ever step over the white line and think they are not going to try. “Everyone gives 100 per cent but sometimes things just don’t fall your way. That was the difference on Monday. We just felt as though things weren’t going our way. We did get opened up by a good team and we did not do some of the basics right. That would be a fair criticism of ourselves, but we showed the character to come out in the second half and we have to continue that.”
Williamson produced a solid second half display, which earned high praise from Pardew, on his return to league action, helping Newcastle to keep a clean sheet after they had leaked three goals in the first half.
The former Portsmouth and Watford centre-half’s only other appearance this campaign came in the Capital One Cup win over Leeds United, meaning the Magpies are yet to concede when Williamson has been on the pitch.
However, the 29-year-old hasn’t been in Pardew’s first team plans since the start of the campaign and although many regarded him as the Magpies’ fourth choice centre back, Williamson insists he was confident of finding a way back into the fold.
He said: “I’ve always maintained that I would fight for my place and I’ve made no secret of that. The manager said it was always going to be tough but Newcastle is a fantastic club.
“If you ask any player they would say they wouldn’t be around if they didn’t feel they could do the job. I feel as though I have a lot to offer the team. That has always been my thought from day one because I have always had that self belief, that I could come in and make a difference to the team.
“That’s what being a professional athlete is all about. You won’t find a player here who doesn’t feel he can come in and make a difference.
“I didn’t think I’d played my last game. It’s nice on a personal level but it’s always what the result is and about the team. It was great to get the chance and I hope I have a shot at getting back in the team.
“Personally, I expect to play all games, but it is down to the manager and he has got tough decisions to make. Hopefully I will be in the fold for the Cardiff game.”
After Monday night’s defeat, the pressure has mounted on Pardew, but Williamson revealed his manager hasn’t shown any signs of strain this week.
He said: “He has been upbeat. The manager has been great. I think you have got to be that way, Football is a roller coaster of emotions and I think you have got to try and find the happy medium and try not to get too high when you are succeeding and too low when you don’t.
“That’s the balance the manager strives for. It rubs off on the players and gives us the confidence to go out on Saturday and get a result.”
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