Fabricio Coloccini

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Alan Pardew hailed the performance of Fabricio Coloccini in Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby draw, comparing his captain's display to one of the game's greats.

After missing United's last three games with a hamstring injury, Coloccini was back in the starting line-up at the Stadium of Light and was impeccable in his defensive duties.

Newcastle led through Yohan Cabaye's early strike, but had Cheick Tiote sent off after just 25 minutes for a late lunge.

Despite being a man down, they more than matched Sunderland for the remainder of the contest, only conceding a late equaliser when the unfortunate Demba Ba deflected put the ball into his own net.

After the match, Pardew was determined to take the positives from an impressive Premier League away point, and there was no bigger plus for him than Coloccini's showing.

"Maybe if Coloccini had stayed on, he would have seen that out. He was absolutely phenomenal today," said the boss

"if you want an example of a centre-half playing where you have got to head it, kick it, cover people, get in the right position and then have the calmness to play, that was your example.

"I come from a famous football club, West Ham, and that was like watching Bobby Moore today. He was terrific."

Coloccini was withdrawn in the 79th minute after suffering from cramp, and Pardew explained it was the effect of playing for such a long period with a numerical disadvantage.

"You have also got to understand - and it sometimes goes a little bit under the radar - at the Premier League level, what is asked of you physically," he said.

"If we had had 11, I think he (Coloccini) could have made the game, but because we went down to ten, there was just too much work for him and both calves tightened up.

"But what a performance, seriously, one of the best he has given for me, for sure."

To buy a Newcastle United shirt with Coloccini's name and number on the back, click here