Premier League: Newcastle's Mike Williamson eyes strong finish to the season
Mike Williamson has admitted that it was crucial for Newcastle United to get back on track after a tough period.
Last Updated: 28/02/14 7:41pm
The Magpies had suffered three straight defeats, and gone four games without a goal, before Loic Remy netted with a last-gasp strike in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa last Sunday.
Newcastle's nadir was a 4-0 loss at home to Tottenham Hotspur the previous weekend, but Williamson was delighted with the character they showed to respond with a victory.
He told the Weekend Warm-Up on Sky Sports News: "I think it was crucial. After the Tottenham game, I think that compounded a tough period for us, and the manner we lost was disappointing.
"I think the lads felt that we let ourselves down, let alone the fans, and I think you could see there was a dogged determination and a spirit that came out, and we kept fighting until the last minute."
Newcastle's spell of poor form coincided with the period when they were trying to adjust to life without Yohan Cabaye, who joined Paris St Germain in January.
While it was a blow to lose such a talented player, Williamson believes Newcastle have now recovered and can have a successful future without the Frenchman.
"He is a world-class player by anyone's standards. He was a fantastic signing," said the defender.
"I think it was the combination of a few things. Confidence and we had a few injuries and suspensions, things like that all happened at the same time and it was compounded by that, and I think that's what the press and people from the outside hung on to."
Newcastle's victory over Villa lifted them to the 40-point barrier but Williamson maintains there is still a lot to play for, even though they are down in eighth and trail Everton and Manchester United by five points.
"If we can get a couple of results I think there are targets," he added. "The top half is about looking up at the Europa and the teams like that. That is what we have to push for."
Newcastle's immediate challenge is a trip to Hull City on Saturday and Williamson is expecting a tough game against a side they lost to earlier in the season.
He said: "They came to St James' Park and took three points and we are under no illusions that it is going to be extremely difficult there."
Williamson was out of the Newcastle side at the start of the season but has battled back to play an important part in their campaign, and he credits the change in fortune to a strong work ethic.
He explained: "There has been no secret. It is just hard work and belief. Every player gets frustrated when they are not playing because that is what you are here to do, and it is always about keeping that belief that when you get that chance you have to be fit and strong enough to take it."