Chris Hughton has come out today and praised Newcastle’s Argentine International Fabricio Coloccini.
Fabricio Coloccini – back tomorrow – and that’s great!
And that seems timely as Fabricio Coloccini, one of Newcastle best players this season, is due to the return for the critical early game with Swansea on Saturday afternoon.
And yes, we know – every single game of the remaining 19 games is now critical, in one way or another.
But Swansea comes after the team’s first loss in 16 league games, so we’ll see how the lads react to this new adversity.
And even after Newcastle’s worst defeat of the season, Chris Hughton has still done remarkably well this season.
Think back to last July 1st when he didn’t even know which players would be left, once owner Mike Ashley had finished reducing the huge wage bill at the famous Tyneside club.
Chris told the Newcastle Journal this morning about Coloccini:
“When we didn’t know who would be coming and who would be staying he was one that because he was an international we weren’t sure if he would be here or not, but he was one we definitely wanted to keep,”
“The only reason I hadn’t assumed he would want to go was because he’d shown no signs of it. Probably him and Gutiérrez are seen as a pair and if one went, maybe both would. But they both showed a great desire to be here.”
The side had done well after losing Steven Taylor, Coloccini and Enrique through injury, but that was only until last Tuesday when the defense folded in the second half, and we were walloped by Derby County.
“Mike Williamson’s done very well, as has Fitz Hall in the two games he’s played,” “But if I look at what has been our regular back four there’s been three players missing.”
“At any club at any time you wouldn’t want to be missing what you regard as your most consistent players.”
“When a team’s not doing so well like last year as a central defender it’s even more difficult because you’re going to be under a lot of pressure,”
“The first year was always going to be a difficult season but I think he’s (Coloccini) been excellent this season.”
“I don’t think it’s just because it’s this division, I think it’s the settling-in period.” “It’s his second season and he’s got used to the pace of the game and the things outside of football, the language and so on.”
It may well be that when we look back on this season, Coloccini is seen as the key player, although there a few who would qualify for that distinction.
But right now there is a question mark over Newcastle, as to whether they can get their act together for the run-in to the season.
We’ve come too far this season to lurch back and lose the distinct opportunity to get promoted back to the Premiership, at our very first attempt.
It would be a real pity to lose that opportunity.