FABRICIO Coloccini’s ready to face whatever Manchester United throw at him – after an extended stay in his native Argentina.
Coloccini will start tomorrow night’s third-round Capital One Cup tie at Old Trafford.
It will be the Newcastle United captain’s first appearance in more than three weeks, the defender having suffered a hamstring problem while on international duty.
Manager Alan Pardew allowed Coloccini to stay in Argentina for treatment, and he believes that decision has hastened his return from the injury.
“He has been with his national team medics,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“He’s stayed in the warmth, which is obviously better for a hamstring, and he’s worked with the Argentina national team.
“They’re focused on the injury, as it was done with them. I was happy for them to do that.
“I’m really pleased how he has come back – he’s ahead of schedule.
“Sometimes, when you get injured, you have to do what’s right for the individual player, and it looks like we got that right with Colo.
“I know him, and he’s fine. He’s trained and he’ll come back stronger.”
Pardew’s adamant that the side he fields at Old Trafford will be strong enough to book a place in the Capital One Cup’s fourth round.
Pardew will make a number of changes for tomorrow night’s game against Manchester United.
Mindful of Saturday’s Premier League game against Reading, and a congested fixture calendar, the likes of Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa are expected to be rested.
But the spine of the team is likely to be strong.
“We’ll be strong on Wednesday,” said Pardew.
“There’ll be three or four players that I will need to rest for Reading, for sure.
“But all the teams in this competition will be the same. There are just too many games for players to play in every single one.
“Having said that, Colo and Cheik will play, and we’ll have a nice balance to our team, and we are going to try to win the game.
“After Christmas, we’ll look at what our priorities are.
“At this stage, we’ll just try to win every game.”