Fabricio Coloccini

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

 

Fabricio Coloccini believes learning some tough lessons from the 2012/13 campaign has inspired Newcastle United to this season's impressive away form.

While last year it took the Magpies until the end of January to triumph on their travels - and even then they only managed it twice - this time around Alan Pardew's men have already picked up maximum points from four away days.

The latest of those came on Saturday afternoon at Old Trafford, where Newcastle ended more than 40 years of hurt with a 1-0 victory over reigning Premier League champions Manchester United.

Coloccini was inspirational at the heart of the defence and reckons a flexible playing style has been the key to United's recent success.

"Another clean sheet was very important - massive," the captain told nufc.co.uk.

"We were playing against a big team and so to keep a clean sheet against a team like Manchester United means we are working hard for each other.

"After the mistakes of last year I think we have learned a lot away from home. We now know when we can play and when we have to be a bit more direct.

"If you stop to think, the goal came from a long ball from Tim to Moussa, and sometimes you need to play like that.

"We want to keep the ball all the time but sometimes you have to change it and you also have to fight."

Newcastle were superb from start to finish at Old Trafford and fully deserved the three points which came courtesy of Yohan Cabaye's strike.

On Boxing Day 2012 the Magpies put in a similarly eye-catching display in the same fixture, taking the lead on three occasions, but walked away empty-handed as the Red Devils snatched a last-minute 4-3 win.

And Coloccini was delighted to get revenge almost 12 months on.

"It is a special day because after 41 years we finally won here," he said.

"The fans have to be proud of the team because on top of the result we played well. We beat Manchester United and it wasn't lucky; we deserved it.

"The last time we played here we played really well but we didn't get the result we wanted. But this year we played well and got the three points and our confidence is really high.

"We were more determined to win.

"Today we worked hard together and that is why the team won."

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