FABRICIO Coloccini’s looking to make up for lost time – and lead Newcastle United to safety.
The club’s captain returned from long-term injury against West Ham United at Upton Park last weekend.
And Coloccini’s leadership helped Newcastle claim what could prove an important point.
United face Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Sunday knowing a win could be enough to secure their Premier League status after third-from-bottom Wigan Athletic lost on Tuesday night.
“We have confidence, and know that we have to think only of ourselves, not other teams,” Coloccini told SportMail.
“We are three points above the last place. We just have to do our job.
“Then we think about next season. Newcastle has to be in the Premier League.
“We are focused, and the team knows what we are fighting against. That’s very important.
“We have to think like that. We have to win both games, and not worry about Wigan or other teams. Just us. We are Newcastle United, and have to work on the pitch.”
QPR’s relegation was confirmed late last month, but Coloccini – who was in the United team relegated four years ago – is wary of Harry Redknapp’s side.
“It’ll be a very, very tough game,” added the 31-year-old.
“They have nothing to play for, and we have everything to play for. It’ll be tough, but we know that we have to get points.
“We played well in the first half against West Ham. Now we have to play well for 90 minutes, not just 45 minutes like West Brom or other games. We have to finish very well.”
Coloccini could only watch in frustration as United were beaten by 6-0 by Liverpool and 3-0 by Sunderland last month.
Those results intensified the pressure on Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, while there were reports last week that there was dressing-room unrest at the club.
But Coloccini said: “The manager and the players are together. People can criticise when they want, but we always give our best on the pitch and on the training ground.”
“It was the same when they said I didn’t want to play, or I wasn’t giving 100 per cent.
“It doesn’t affect the changing room. We’re together, and we know what we’re fighting.
“We’ve got players who have played in the Champions League and have won league titles. Nobody wants to go down here.
“We’re fighting together in the same way.”