Coloccini will ride to Newcastle’s rescue

RETURN ... Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini.
RETURN ... Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini.

FABRICIO Coloccini’s been backed to shore up Newcastle United’s creaking defence.

Coloccini – who has served a three-game ban – will lead the club out at the Britannia Stadium tomorrow night.

And fit-again James Perch is also pushing for a start against Stoke City.

Coloccini’s absence from United’s starting XI has coincided with three successive Premier League defeats.

Newcastle were beaten 2-0 by Southampton on Sunday on a soggy afternoon at the St Mary’s Stadium when little went right for Alan Pardew’s out-of-sorts side.

And Pardew – who has lost defender Steven Taylor to a hamstring injury – admits the his captain’s influence has been missed on and off the pitch.

“Colo’s back, and I think we’re a little bit uncomfortable without Colo in the side, full stop,” Pardew told the Gazette.

“It’ll be nice to have him back in the changing room on Wednesday night.”

Perch – who has recovered from the groin injury he suffered early this month – came off the bench in injury time against Southampton.

And the utility player could be asked to shore up the club’s midfield – or fill in alongside Coloccini in central defence.

“Perchie’s only trained a couple of days,” added Pardew. “But he’ll be in my thinking for Stoke, if I’m honest.”