SOL CAMPBELL will take a further step nearer to a first team debut for Newcastle United tonight, but Mike Williamson is in no rush to move aside for the former England defender.

After playing in each of the reserves’ matches with Sunderland and Liverpool in recent weeks, Campbell is due to start his third match against Chelsea’s second string at St James’ Park tonight (kick-off 7.05pm).

The 35-year-old is edging closer to full fitness and is expected to appear in Magpies’ Carling Cup tie at Stamford Bridge next Wednesday.

Williamson, who has been impressive in the Premier League, is expected to start alongside Fabricio Coloccini at the heart of the defence at Everton on Saturday.

But he knows he cannot afford to take his place for granted, given that manager Chris Hughton could now call on Campbell at any time after making significant progress on his fitness.

“I do feel as though I’ve begun well and I’m good enough to play in the Premier League,” said Williamson.

“Every week I know I’m going to play top players, the best in the country, so I won’t take anything for granted.

Every match is a clean slate, that’s how I look at it.

“It doesn’t matter what has happened before, it’s up to me to perform week after week.

I’ve got to maintain the good start I’ve had. I don’t get too carried away when I’ve played well and I don’t get too down when I’ve played badly.

“It’s the same with the team. We’re trying to stay on an even keel.”

Williamson found himself frustrated during his four months in the Premier League last season, when he failed to force his way in to Portsmouth’s starting line-up after moving from Watford.

It was that period of inactivity in the top-flight which led to his switch in January, when he helped Newcastle to the Championship title in the final five months of the campaign.

But the opening four matches of this season, even if he has only experienced victory in one, he is satisfied that he can be a success story at the highest level of the English game.

Williamson said: “I’ve waited a long time to get my chance in the Premier League and everyone knows how frustrating it was for me to go to Portsmouth last year and not play a single game. I’ve been really pleased with my personal performances.

“This is something I’ve been looking forward to my whole life. I’ve had a few setbacks along the way but I feel as though all the patience and hard work has paid off now.

It’s fantastic to be able to show I can play at this level.”

Newcastle should head to Everton on Saturday smarting from the defeat to Blackpool that surprised everyone at St James’ Park last weekend.

But Williamson has revealed Hughton has not overreacted, instead choosing to stay calm which has become a hallmark of his reign.

The 27-year-old said: “That’s one of the great things about our manager. He doesn’t come into the dressing room after a win jumping around and patting everyone on the back.

“But he doesn’t get too down and knock people’s confidence after a defeat. He’s got a great balance to his character and that is what we need as a team.”

■ Former Newcastle winger Fabrice Pancrate is on the look out for an English club to restart his career. Pancrate, released by Newcastle at the end of last season, is a free agent and is still searching for a club.

And agent Gino Colbertson said: “He is willing to come over and train with a club, so that he can show that he still has a lot to offer.”