Newcastle’s Fabricio Coloccini guns for Arsenal

LEADER ... Fabricio Coloccini.
LEADER ... Fabricio Coloccini.

FABRICIO Coloccini is hopeful he’ll be fit to take to the pitch against Arsenal – after leaving everything on the field against Chelsea.

An exhausted Coloccini led his Newcastle United’s team-mates to a 2-1 win over the Premier League leaders at St James’s Park on Saturday.

The 32-year-old – who had missed the previous three games with a calf problem – had trained just twice before the match.

Coloccini was suffering from cramp late in the game, but he had to stay on the pitch after defensive colleague Steven Taylor’s dismissal.

After the match United manager Alan Pardew told of his concerns over Coloccini’s fitness ahead of Saturday’s visit to the Emirates Stadium.

And Coloccini will be assessed this week ahead of the Arsenal fixture.

“It was difficult after being injured for a month,” Coloccini told the Gazette. “I trained twice – and it was a tough – but I played 90 minutes and I’m very happy.

“It’s normal to have cramp after 70 minutes, because I had just trained twice with the team.

“After Steven was sent off, I had to stay on the pitch.”

Two second-half goals from Papiss Demba Cisse put Newcastle 2-0 ahead, but the team was pegged back by a Didier Drogba strike after Taylor’s dismissal.

And United survived a late onslaught from Jose Mourinho’s side to take all three points and end the visitors’ long unbeaten run.

“I’m very happy for the team, for the fans as well,” said Coloccini. “We got a really nice result.

“We defended well, and we played like a team.”

Pardew will be without suspended pair Taylor and Moussa Sissoko for the Arsenal game along with injured goalkeeper Rob Elliot.

“We are going to have to dig deep for the Arsenal game, because Colo looks like he has got an injury,” said Pardew.

“Obviously, Moussa won’t play – he was outstanding again – and no Robbie Elliot.

“We have had to do that all year. We have not moaned about it, though and everybody is producing.

“But you can only do that if the training ground spirit is great, and you have a fantastic togetherness and a love for each other.”

Twitter: @milesstarforth