Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini to stay in charge? Absolutely says McClaren

Newcastle United skipper Fabricio Coloccini
Newcastle United skipper Fabricio Coloccini

Steve McClaren says he will NOT strip Fabricio Coloccini of the captaincy at Newcastle United.

McClaren opted to keep Coloccini as captain after his appointment in the summer.

Against Bournemouth we didn’t defend very well, but he got blocks and headers and tackles and his performance was excellent.

But the 33-year-old – also handed a contract extension by the club amid interest from this afternoon’s opponents Crystal Palace – is yet to repay McClaren for his faith in him.

Coloccini was dreadful in last weekend’s 3-0 home defeat to Leicester City.

And there has been a chronic lack of leadership – and voices – on the field this season.

Asked if he was happy with Coloccini’s leadership, McClaren said: “I wasn’t happy with anybody’s (leadership) last week.

“You can’t play football silent, and that’s what we did. So people have questioned Colo, and I will say the previous week against Bournemouth we didn’t defend very well, but he got blocks and headers and tackles and his performance was excellent.

“Man-of-the-match performance but for Robbie Elliot. Manchester United, (and) other games, he’s been excellent.”

McClaren was critical of Coloccini’s performance against Leicester in an inquest into the Leicester game at the start of the week.

Asked how Coloccini responded to the criticism, McClaren said: “He’s been very good.

“Training is training, we can only prepare. Honestly, we had a bad weekend, but I love getting out on the training field.”

McClaren also insisted Coloccini was “absolutely” still his captain, though he added: “This is a team sport and we don’t pick out individuals.”