FABRICIO Coloccini is determined to lead Newcastle United over the line – having experienced the pain of relegation at the club.
Coloccini returns against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday after serving a three-game ban.
The club captain, sent off for a reckless challenge against Everton last month, has had to watch as the team’s Premier League losing run has stretched to five games.
Coloccini’s ban left injury-hit head coach John Carver with just one fit centre-half – Mike Williamson – and the dismissal has proved costly on the field.
Asked if he was expecting a response from Coloccini, Carver said: “He’s a top professional – yes, I do.
“I think he will because he is captain of this football club, and he will be disappointed at what’s happened.
“He’ll not want to see this team struggle like they did a few seasons ago and end up in the Championship.”
Coloccini was in the side relegated to the Championship six years ago.
And Carver says the 33-year-old – who did not return to his native Argentina during his suspension – is in a determined mood behind the scenes.
“He felt that (relegation), and he won’t want that again, so I’m sure he will come back in the right frame of mind,” said Carver.
“He’s worked extremely hard over the time he has been suspended – he’s not been given any extra time off. He has actually done more, which is important, so he will be fit and ready for it.
“He has been with us, and other than the game at the weekend (against Liverpool), he has been at every game.
“He came to the derby game – he was in the dressing room beforehand – he has been there and very, very supportive.
“Obviously, he wasn’t there on Monday night because we travelled the day before, but he has been supportive.
“He didn’t even come and ask me to go to Argentina, so I don’t know where that came from, if I’m being honest.”
Asked if Coloccini had a point to prove, he said: “I think you’d need to ask him that question, but if it was me, I’d want to prove a point.
“If it was me who had been sent off and I was the captain of the football club, I’d want to perform for the next six games, because I have been sent off and we’ve had to reshuffle the back four because of it.”