Mike Williamson: Newcastle United character evident in win

Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini
Newcastle's Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson helped secure a clean sheet against Villa.

Defender Mike Williamson says the manner of Newcastle United's 1-0 win against Aston Villa was the perfect response to their humbling by Manchester City the previous weekend.

The 5-0 thrashing by City was described as "pathetic" by Newcastle legend Alan Shearer on Match of the Day.

However, a Papiss Cisse winner capped a much-improved display against Villa.

"The determination, character and persistence were there for everyone to see," Williamson told BBC Newcastle.

"We were all aware of the importance on the back of last week's disappointing result."

Newcastle went into the game on a three-game winless run, and without a home success since the visit of Everton on 28 December.

Draws with Stoke and Crystal Palace from winning positions raised the pressure on the Magpies players for the visit of a struggling Villa side, but Williamson and his team-mates responded.

Papiss Cisse
Papiss Cisse scored his 11th Premier League goal of the season against Aston Villa.

"The lads were making sure we didn't capitulate, we wanted a reaction and wanted to show people and ourselves," he continued.

"There was a lot of personal pride out there today which can make for a tense game.

"It can restrict people in getting the ball down, it wasn't as pretty as we'd like but we ended up grinding out a good result."

Head coach John Carver switched to a 4-4-2 formation and called for an attacking approach for Saturday's game, a selection rewarded by an 11th goal of the season from Cisse, who combined well with Emmanuel Riviere in the front line.

"When he's on the pitch he can sniff out a goal which is a great talent to have," Williamson said of Cisse.

"We've needed his goals, they've been huge for us, but I do think the work from Manu goes unnoticed.

"For me he's a great outlet, he puts his body on the line and gets other people goals, hopefully he can get some himself.

"Up front it was good to see them, their presence, that work-rate, that doggedness and Papiss can score from anywhere."