Fabricio Coloccini

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

He admits he prefers to do his talking on the pitch but when Fabricio Coloccini does speak, it is worth taking notice.

A captain who leads by example rather than by screaming and shouting, the Argentine returned from the back injury which kept him out for 12 games in last weekend's 0-0 draw at West Ham.

Like thousands of Newcastle supporters, he then settled down in front of the television to watch Wigan Athletic's defeat to Swansea - a result which gave United a timely boost going into Sunday's trip to Queens Park Rangers.

And ahead of that huge fixture at Loftus Road, he has issued a rallying call to the team and the supporters - and warned that United need worry about nobody but themselves.

"Yes, I watched the Wigan game but we we have to think about our job because we are three points above them," he said. "If we do the right things, do our job, it's going to be finished.

"We have to think we can win the games; not about what happens with Wigan or the other teams, just with us because we are Newcastle United and we have to go on the pitch and win.

"We have to think about ourselves - not the other teams - because we are three points above the relegation zone. We have to do our job and then try to think about next season because Newcastle have to be in the Premier League.

"When we started the season, we were thinking maybe we could get a cup or maybe the Europa League and now we are fighting relegation. It's different but now we have to have our feet on the floor and work hard because if we don't work like a team it will be difficult."

Coloccini, of course, is speaking from experience. In his first season at St. James' Park, Newcastle were relegated. Under four different managers, they slipped out of the top flight with a final day defeat at Aston Villa but the skipper is confident there will be no repeat this term.

He said: "It's a bit different because last time, every game we thought 'the next game we will win' and 'the next game we will win' and that never happened.

"But now we are focussed. The team knows what we are fighting and that's very important.

"We are fighting all together. When we are where we are now, you can criticise whatever you want but when we go onto the pitch or come to the training ground we try to do our best."

"We are together, we know what we are fighting and we have big players who have played in the Champions League and won leagues, so nobody wants to go down here."

Since landing awkwardly as he made an acrobatic clearance in February's win over Southampton, Coloccini had been unable to influence proceedings until his typically classy return at Upton Park.

"It's part of football and I have to forget that moment and try to help out the team on the pitch," he said. "I've never been out for a long time out like that so I'm happy because I like to feel like a footballer. That's important.

"It's difficult because you want to try to help the team and it's difficult when you're not on the pitch.

"I heard that I wouldn't play because I wanted to leave and that I don't give 100 per cent. I don't like to speak to the press too much because I'm like that. I try to speak on the pitch and I think on the pitch I can do the things well but I always give 100 per cent.

Fabricio Coloccini

"I love playing football. I don't think about what happens in my future - I just want to play. On Sunday we have another game. If we played on Tuesday again, I'd want to play. I always like to play on the pitch."

And he believes that Newcastle's foundations must be built from the back. Their defensive record is the third worst in the division but they looked solid at West Ham and Coloccini said: "I think it's the most impotant thing now in this situation.

"When you have bad results, you have to get confidence and I think to to have a clean sheet gives confidence to the team and gives confidence to the strikers to do their work as well.

"It will be a very tough game on Saturday. They don't play for nothing and we are playing for everything so it will be tough - but we know we have to get points."

Yet again, despite their lowly league position the Magpies will be backed by a sold-out away allocation on Sunday while the final game against Arsenal is expected to be another St. James' Park sell-out.

There's no doubt that the fans have played their part all season long and Coloccini said: "I think they're always with us. It's normal that the passion is not like when we started the season but we have to be together because Newcastle United is not just players - it's the fans.

"Next season, the fans want to be in the Premier League so that's why they have to support us."

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