Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Fabricio Coloccini

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

 

Fabricio Coloccini broke Newcastle United's corner curse on Saturday night against Braga, and then revealed it was hard work on the training ground paying dividends.

The Magpies last netted from a flag kick on 1st October 2011, when Demba Ba struck away at Wolves, but Coloccini put an end to that unwanted statistic when he powered home a header to earn a 1-1 pre-season friendly draw at St. James' Park.

Club captain Coloccini admitted he and his teammates must do better from set pieces this season, and is confident that practice is going to make perfect in the penalty area.

"It was nice to score," the Argentine centre-back told nufc.co.uk in an exclusive interview.

"We don't score too many goals from corners so hopefully this year we can do much better.

"We have worked hard on it in training and really focussed on being better, and we have lots of players who are capable of scoring from corners like Steven Taylor, Mapou, Moussa and Shola. So hopefully we are much better at it this year.

"I don't set myself any targets. All I think about is defending and then if I can score to help the team then that is a good thing.

"It was also good to score because it is a special day - the Sir Bobby Robson day. That is something special for the fans, the Club, his family, and so it was nice to score a goal on a day like this."

Coloccini's goal cancelled out an Alan penalty which had put Portuguese outfit Braga ahead on Tyneside.

United were much the better side, however, and Coloccini believes it was an encouraging performance to finish their warm-up games with ahead of the season's opener.

"We went another game without losing so that is good for our confidence ahead of Manchester City next week," he explained.

"We probably deserved to win. We didn't play well in the first half but were better in the second half.

"We now have to try and take the positives and the performance level from the second half into the first game of the season."