Fabricio Coloccini says Newcastle United’s attitude is shout of this world – despite a lack of talkers.
Steve McClaren’s side are looking to make it back-to-back wins against Leicester City tomorrow.
Sometimes, you might not be able to see that from outside the pitch, and maybe sometimes some of the players are not as loud as they should be. But we have leaders.Fabricio Coloccini
Coloccini, the club’s long-serving captain, came under fire for his performances and leadership earlier in the season.
The quietly-spoken defender was also criticised for not being vocal enough on the pitch.
But Coloccini was outstanding in the 1-0 win over Bournemouth before the international break.
Goalkeeper Rob Elliot also starred at the Vitality Stadium in what was the club’s first away success of the campaign.
And Coloccini, 33, feels there is enough leadership on and off the pitch at Newcastle given the “strong characters” in Steve McClaren’s dressing room.
“We have strong characters in this team – that’s not something I’m worried about,” said Coloccini.
“Sometimes, you might not be able to see that from outside the pitch, and maybe sometimes some of the players are not as loud as they should be.
“But we have leaders. Rob Elliot is a good example because he was injured, but he wanted to play.
“He told the manager he wanted to play even though he had an injury. That is important, and we need that.
“We have a lot of young players, and they have to learn.”
Coloccini also believes United have put the case for the defence over the past 180 minutes, having kept back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season.
Newcastle, 17th in the table, conceded 22 goals in their first 10 league games.
And the team, which had held Stoke City to a goalless draw a week earlier, had to be resolute against an attack-minded Bournemouth side.
“Getting the two clean sheets in a row was important,” said Coloccini, who signed a new deal at the club on the eve of the season.
“We have had a lot of criticism about the defence, but that’s football. Sometimes you have good games, and sometimes bad. We’re always trying to do our best for the team.
“These two clean sheets are very nice for all of us.”
United kept a clean sheet against Bournemouth thanks to Elliot, who made a series of saves to keep Eddie Howe’s side at bay.
Newcastle struggled in possession – McClaren said his players treated the ball like a “hot potato” after the game – and Coloccini has acknowledged the need for “adjustments”.
“I thought Bournemouth played really well,” said Coloccini.
“That game proved we still need to adjust a few things. We have a two-week break, and we have to use that to improve.
“There are some little things that we have to work on.
“The most important thing was the result, though.
“We got the three points, and slowly we want to get more points.”
Meanwhile, Daryl Janmaat, Coloccini’s defensive colleague, has been speaking about the threat posed by Leicester striker Jamie Vardy.
Vardy, doubtful with the hip problem which saw him miss England’s international friendlies against Spain and France, has scored in each of his past nine league appearances.
If he makes it 10-in-a-row, he will equal a 12-year-old record held by former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.
And Janmaat said: “We will be doing everything so that he won’t be scoring against us.
“We’ll have to prepare for him. I hope we can stop him.
“But we know that won’t be easy as he is so quick.
“We have some quick defenders, though.
“I’m not sure who is the fastest, maybe me.
“Whoever is up against Vardy, we’ll have to be ready for him.
“It’s not just that pace – he’s a good player and very confident right now.
“He is doing so well for Leicester.
“He has scored nine in a row, and he will be looking to continue that against us.”