Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Debut Pair Given Pass Marks by United Boss

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Debut Pair Given Pass Marks by United Boss

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas

CHRIS Hughton reckons Mike Williamson and James Perch passed their first Premier League test with flying colours - but has warned both there will be no let-up as Newcastle United strive for top flight safety. Both were top flight debutants at Old Trafford as Newcastle suffered opening night defeat to Manchester United but Williamson, who didn't play a game for Portsmouth last season, impressed with a resolute display alongside Fabricio Coloccini. Things were tougher for Perch as he made his bow at right-back but Hughton saw enough to feel confident sending them out against Aston Villa's flying wingers. "I was pleased with both of them - particularly Mike. They were up against pretty much the best around and they did well, he said. "It was a tough one for both of them at Manchester United when they were up against Wayne Rooney, Nani and Dimitar Berbatov but I thought they equipped themselves as well as they could on a tough night. "Mike made the one mistake which he got away with but other than that I thought he was very comfortable against some great players. The likes of Rooney, Berbatov - their movement is superb and it''s a tough night for any defender, especially one making his debut in the Premier League. "I have no worries about Mike. He is a good player, a good trainer and he only wants to get better. He is the sort of player who takes things in and he will have learned from Monday. I think that both of them will only get better for the experience." Hughton's charges were back in training yesterday for the Villa clash and the boss will use the run-up to Sunday's game to remind them that there is no room for error in the top flight. Although still smarting from the Manchester United defeat, he believes the foundations for a successful survival fight are in place. "The disappointment of losing hasn't gone away," he said. …

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