Newcastle’s Coloccini ready for Tottenham after Argentina duty

Newcastle United's Fabricio Coloccini
Newcastle United's Fabricio Coloccini

FABRICIO Coloccini’s ready to take centre stage for Newcastle United – after spending 90 minutes on the Argentina bench last night.

The club’s captain was an unused substitute for his country, who beat Germany 3-1 in Frankfurt.

Coloccini suffered a slight calf problem in Newcastle’s final friendly against Cardiff City last weekend.

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The 30-year-old defender was taken off as a precaution at half-time at the Cardiff City Stadium, but still met up with his international colleagues.

And United manager Alan Pardew and his staff were today waiting on Coloccini’s return to Tyneside to assess his fitness ahead of Saturday’s game at St James’s Park.

However, Coloccini – whose form for the club last season earned him an international recall after a lengthy absence – believes it was nothing more than tiredness after a gruelling pre-season campaign.

“It was nothing – just tiredness in my legs,” Coloccini said.

Coloccini was recalled by coach Alejandro Sabella to the Argentina squad after an absence of almost three years.

While Coloccini’s Argentine countryman Jonas Gutierrez – who went to the last World Cup – has been a regular in recent seasons, the 30-year-old, strangely, has been in the international wilderness.

And the experienced centre-half was heartened by the call-up ahead of his country’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

“Of course, I’m always proud to play for Argentina,” added Coloccini.

“It’s nice news for me, and I have to enjoy this week now.”

The call was recognition for his efforts in a black and white shirt for Newcastle last season when the club finished fifth in the table.

Coloccini said: “I always try to do my best for my team, and it means I did well for Newcastle. It’s good.”

Meanwhile, Pardew has a number of other injury and fitness concerns, with Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Papiss Demba Cisse having missed the Cardiff game.

Forward Hatem Ben Arfa has already been ruled out of the Tottenham match with a knee injury.

l NEWCASTLE United have opened the matchday ticket office, behind the Sir Bobby Robson statue, to assist fans who are still to receive their season-tickets.

It will be open today and tomorrow between 10am and 7pm.

The matchday collection office will also be open on Saturday morning from 9am.

The game is close to being a sell out, with only a “limited” number of tickets still on general sale.