FABRICIO Coloccini has hit back at claims he was ready to turn his back on Newcastle United’s relegation battle.
United’s influential captain returned from long-term injury last weekend.
And Coloccini will lead Alan Pardew’s side out at Loftus Road knowing a win could keep the club in the Premier League.
The 31-year-old asked to leave United in January because of what were described at the time as “personal matters”, but agreed to stay on after talks with Pardew and the club’s hierarchy.
He suffered a back injury in February, and there was speculation he would not return to Newcastle after he was given permission to recuperate with his family in his native Argentina.
But Coloccini says he was never going to walk away from the club after pledging to stay until the end of the season, when more discussions are planned amid interest from Argentinian club San Lorenzo.
“I’m very happy to be back,” Coloccini said. “I’ve never been injured or out for that long.
“I heard people say 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. But I try to speak on the pitch. I always give 100 per cent.”
For the moment, Coloccini insists he is not thinking about his future, with his focus firmly on the last two games of a troubled domestic season at St James’s Park.
“I love playing football,” he added. “I don’t care what happens in my future, I just want to play.
“On Sunday we have a game, and I want to play. If we had another game on Tuesday, I’d want to play in that as well. I always like to be on the pitch.”
Coloccini – who missed the last two rounds of the club’s Europa League campaign, and the Tyne-Wear derby defeat to Sunderland – admits the last few months have been tough.
“It’s difficult to watch and not play,” he added.
“Sometimes you want to help the team, or try to help others. It’s difficult to do that when you’re watching.
“It was very hard, especially games like Sunderland, where you want to be on the pitch.”