Mike Williamson is set to retain his place in the Newcastle United back four which attempts to muzzle Tottenham this weekend – even if Fabricio Coloccini continues to make strides towards returning for the White Hart Lane clash.
Coloccini is understood to have stepped up his training and is targeting the trip to North London, but it won’t be in-form Williamson who makes way if the returning skipper is passed fit for Sunday’s big match. Instead it could be Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who was much-improved as he made his return the to team following suspension against Chelsea, who looks set to step aside.
That will be music to the ears of Williamson, who feels his return to the Newcastle side is a reward for not giving up on his black-and-white career. The defender was linked with Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest during the summer and could have moved on after Coloccini made his decision to stay, but he was desperate to stay and “prove a point” to boss Alan Pardew.
Despite admitting there were times when he felt there was no light at the end of the time he was determined to return. He said: “It is just waiting for the opportunity.
“When you don’t feel there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the team isn’t playing well, you feel you have a point to make to the manager there is talent throughout the squad.
“So yes, it is difficult but you have to keep the faith and keep believing.
“That is what the manager tried to instil in the squad as well.
“I had to believe my chance to start would come.”
Meanwhile, Gael Bigirimana has spoken of his desire to make a loan move to return to Newcastle a better player.
Bigirimana has been made available for a temporary switch by boss Alan Pardew but the club want him to drop into the Championship - and the majority of the interest in the midfielder has been from League One and below.
Bigirimana told a Show Racism the Red Card event at St James’ Park he has fallen “in love” with Newcastle and wants to make his move to TYneside work.
He said: “I am in love with Newcastle now, every time I don’t make the squad I watch the game and I see how passionate the fans are, I want to be part of that.
“If I want to be one of the top players at this club I need to get experience, I need to go on loan.
“If this will make me a better player then I don’t mind but it’s so that when I come back I will be an even better player for Newcastle United.”