FABRICIO Coloccini’s return will give Newcastle United’s team what it needs most – leadership.
Coloccini is set to make his comeback from long-term injury at Upton Park on Saturday.
And the experienced defender’s return will be timely given the club’s plight near the foot of the Premier League.
Coloccini has been sidelined since late February, when he broke two bones in his back making an overhead clearance against Southampton.
In his absence, United have struggled for domestic form.
And the club is just five points above the relegation zone ahead of the West Ham United game.
Should he prove his fitness, Coloccini – who returned to training last week – is expected to partner Steven Taylor at the heart of Alan Pardew’s defence.
“I think Colo’s important this week – no disrespect to the two centre halves who played (against Liverpool),” Pardew told SportMail.
“I think his leadership is important.
“Hopefully he comes through this week and we can get him out on the pitch with the armband on.”
After the Liverpool defeat, Pardew said he would “lean on” the experience of those players who experienced relegation in 2008-09.
Coloccini, Taylor, Jonas Gutierrez, Steve Harper and Shola Ameobi were all in the team that went down.
Meanwhile, Pardew had hoped to have midfielder Sylvain Marveaux back for the West Ham game.
However, asked if anyone else would be fit, he said: “I don’t think so. But we’ve got enough character and belief in that dressing room to get through it.
“We’ve got to show that now. As I’ve said before, words don’t win games.
“They’re not important any more. The performance we put in (against Liverpool) was unacceptable. It wasn’t good enough for us.
“We’re aware of that, and we need to put it right.”
There will be one enforced change to Pardew’s back four, with right-back Danny Simpson on standby to replace the suspended Mathieu Debuchy, who was dismissed against Liverpool for a second bookable offence.
Simpson took to social networking site Twitter after yesterday’s training session.
The 26-year-old tweeted: “Had a good training session today.. Looking forward 2 a good full solid week of training before the West Ham game.”