Newcastle United’s fans had every right to vent their anger at The Hawthorns, according to captain Fabricio Coloccini.
Coloccini and his team-mates were booed after Monday’s 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.
They are allowed to say anything they want. They know the players who go on the pitch give everything and everyone wants to do the best for the team. We always try.Fabricio Coloccini
The result, which followed a last-minute home loss to Everton on Boxing Day, left Steve McClaren’s side two points adrift of Premier League safety ahead of Saturday’s game against leaders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Substitute Florian Thauvin was given a frosty reception when he turned to acknowledge the support they had got from the club’s 2,700-strong travelling support.
But Coloccini insisted on leading the rest of his team-mates towards the away end at the final whistle, which greeted the final whistle with pockets of boos.
The 33-year-old – who experienced the pain of relegation at Villa Park in 2009 – says he can’t fault the backing United get up and down the country.
As such, Coloccini believes the club’s long-suffering supporters are fully entitled to make their feelings known, though he insists the players are “giving everything” on the pitch.
“They travel everywhere and they are always behind us,” said Coloccini.
“They are allowed to say anything they want. They know the players who go on the pitch give everything and everyone wants to do the best for the team. We always try.”
McClaren, appointed as head coach in the summer, opted to keep Coloccini as skipper on the eve of the season.
And that decision has proved to be a controversial one given both his and the team’s form this year.
Newcastle won just seven league games in 2015 – four of them at home – and there has been little discernible on-pitch improvement under McClaren over the past few months. For his part, Coloccini, appointed as captain by former manager Alan Pardew in 2011 after the departure of Kevin Nolan, insists he feels a weight of responsibility “every day”.
Asked if there was a weight on his shoulders, he said: “Always.
“Not now because of the situation, but it’s every time, every day and every week. It’s nothing different.”
Coloccini, United’s most experienced player, feels the younger members of the club’s squad, and those who arrived in the summer without any experience of the English top flight, are on steep learning curve.
Asked if the club’s players had the experience needed, Coloccini added: “I think some of them start to learning now, they have not been in this situation.
“They played for top teams in other leagues. It’s a different experience for them but they have to know this is very difficult.
“It’s a tough Premier League season, and it’s going to be tougher if we don’t do the right things.
“There are things we need to improve. We have to watch carefully, and try to improve for next year because we want to be safe.
“We don’t have time. Now, we have to improve as quickly as possible, because we are in the middle of the season and we need points.”
United supporters are keen to see reinforcements arrive in next month’s transfer window.
Asked about the window, Coloccini said: “It’s something the club need to look at.
“We’re here to work every day, go to training and the transfer window is something the club has to look at.”
Coloccini and his team-mates are instead focused on the Arsenal game.
He said: We need to improve as quickly as possible.
“Two months ago, we said it was still a long season.
“Now we’re in the middle of the season and we need to improve because the end is coming.”