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The Toe Poke

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Coloccini taking Newcastle slump badly

Alan Pardew has revealed that Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini has been the player most affected by the club's dip in form this season.

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The Magpies currently find themselves just two points above the relegation zone in 15th place, after a dismal start to the season that has seen them win just four of their opening seventeen games. Made club captain in 2011, Coloccini takes defeat worse than most - according to Pardew.

"Colo is one of those players for whom not winning does affect him," Pardew said. "I don't think he likes to put himself out there if he doesn't feel the results reflect very well. I understand that. The fact the results stay with him says a lot about the man as a professional.

"Cheick Tiote and Colo have been disrupted with injury. That does have an impact. They are massively important to us as they are our captain and one of the key midfielders."

Although Newcastle are still missing a number of players through injury, Pardew did confirm that winger Gabriel Obertan looks set to return to the squad for the visit of Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. The 23-year old has missed the last few weeks through a toe injury, with his manager believing his potential inclusion could make an impact.

"Gabby has a chance of being involved on Saturday. When we don't have Gabby, it does affect the opposition because when he's in the team their left-back does not go anywhere," he said.

"We've had problem with that in recent weeks in terms of the opposition left-back getting into our box and creating goals. If nothing else he will stop that and if Gabby plays as he has done in the European matches, then he will affect the game in a positive manner as well."


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