Mike Williamson believes he can have 'positive effect' at Newcastle despite recent speculation

Newcastle defender Mike Williamson wants to stay at St. James' Park.

Mike Williamson has told the Newcastle United official website that he still thinks he can have a 'positive impact' on the team next season.

Williamson, 31, was a regular in the Magpies first team last season, but struggled immensely as the club only narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship.

New manager Steve McClaren is interested in signing Derby County defender Richard Keogh in a £4m deal according to The Guardian, which would put Williamson's future in doubt.

A recent report from The Mirror suggested that Leeds were interested in signing Williamson, with new manager Uwe Rosler looking to improve his defensive options.

Despite the question marks over Williamson's future, the centre back has now told the Newcastle official website that he is hoping to stay at the club - and believe he can still make a big impact under new manager McClaren.

"Whatever team I play for, I will always back my ability and back myself to play," said Williamson. "I know I can have a good, positive effect on the team. That's what I have done since I arrived here and hopefully that's what will happen this season, too."

"I feel like I'm growing, learning and maturing all the time and I still have a big contribution to make to Newcastle. It's been an exceptional time here. I can't speak highly enough of the fans, the Club, the good and the bad. I have enjoyed every day of it, even the pressure that comes with playing for Newcastle.  I've loved every time I have pulled the shirt on and hopefully this season there will be plenty more."

Time to go?

Having conceded so many goals last season, it's imperative that McClaren improves his defence this summer - and that means bringing players in and letting some go.

At least two centre backs are needed this summer, and that would push Williamson down to as far as fourth in the pecking order.

At 31, Williamson needs to be playing before winding down his career - and with opportunities at Newcastle potentially diminishing, it may be time for the veteran to look towards his next move.

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