Mike Williamson: “I can’t wait.
“I chat to Shola and he tells me about some of the European nights down the years.
“Some of the games that the club has had at St James’s Park sound incredible. The atmosphere’s already good, so European football should be even better.
“I’m thoroughly looking forward to it – I just can’t wait.
“If somebody had told me that in three years when I was at Portsmouth that I’d be preparing for Europe, then I’d have bitten their hand off.
“It’s been a fantastic journey for me – I just enjoy every single bit of it.
“I’m looking forward to (Europe) because it’s going to be tough and competitive for us for places, but that’s the same everywhere. I’m just looking forward to it.
“To train with the likes of Colo and Cabs, and people like that, makes you improve every day. It’s really enjoyable.
“(August) is a huge month, of course.
“But now it is about getting our fitness levels up.
“The gaffer’s trying to build on what he wants tactically from last year. It’s all about progressing week by week.”