Paul Lambert: Mike Williamson must "prove" worth

Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Paul Lambert says that centre-back Mike Williamson must "prove" his fitness in the remaining games of the season in order to earn a new deal.

Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Paul Lambert has said that veteran centre-back Mike Williamson must prove his worth in order to earn a new deal at the club.

The 33-year-old moved to Molineux from Newcastle United on an 18-month contract in January 2016 but almost immediately picked up a hamstring injury that kept him on the sidelines for 14 months.

Williamson has played three games since returning to action and while he has impressed Lambert with his performances, the manager has urged him to continue to demonstrate his worth in the remaining games of the season if he wants a new deal.

"He has to prove his fitness and sustain it. He knows that," Lambert told the Express & Star. "He's not a young player coming through learning the ropes, he knows exactly the game and how he wants to play it and how his body feels.

"Whether he can do half a dozen games in a row I'm not sure, because the length of time he's been out is huge. I think he can get away with one or two games. Whether he can do back-to-back is a big thing for him at the minute after so long out.

"You can get away with him at Reading or Stoke, but the problem is when someone's been out for that length of time you tend to find they get little niggles elsewhere, although his main injury feels good, because the muscle aren't trained. For a footballer not to have a pre-season is a big thing because you're not conditioned."

After being rested for the game at Brentford on Tuesday, Williamson is expected to be back in contention for the trip to Fulham on Saturday.

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Paul Lambert looks on prior to kickoff during the FA Cup fift- round match between Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United on February 21, 2016
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33227459263373
2Cardiff CityCardiff33197749272264
3Aston Villa33179749301960
4Derby CountyDerby331611650282259
5Fulham331511755371856
6Bristol City33141274839954
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd32164124638852
8Middlesbrough331561243311251
9Preston North EndPreston33121564032851
10Brentford331311950401050
11Leeds UnitedLeeds33137134643346
12Norwich CityNorwich331210113437-346
13Millwall331112103935445
14Ipswich TownIpswich33136144443145
15Queens Park RangersQPR33109143646-1039
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds33813123540-537
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest33114183651-1537
18Reading3289153542-733
19Bolton WanderersBolton3389162951-2233
20Birmingham CityBirmingham3386192249-2730
21Hull City32611154350-729
22Burton Albion3378182659-3329
23Barnsley32610163147-1628
24Sunderland33511173458-2426
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