Newcastle United boss Chris Hughton has defended his team’s record in the face of mounting disciplinary problems, reports The Jarrow and Hebburn Gazette.
Defender Mike Williamson was banned this week for three games for an off-the-ball foul on Bolton striker Johan Elmander during last week’s 5-1 defeat at the Reebok. Williamson’s central defensive partner Fabio Coloccini is also out for the same period after getting his marching orders in the same match, again for a foul on Elmander.
In addition, Joey Barton has a game to run on the two-match suspension he picked up for punching Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pedersen. But Hughton insists his side are not a dirty team.
“I don’t think that anyone who has seen us play would call us a dirty team,” he said. “It’s not a concern that we’ll pick up a reputation at all, because we’re not that kind of side. What we have had really is a freak fortnight.
“Mike was on two bookings for the whole season before the ban. Colo was on three bookings before he got sent off. Those are not bad disciplinary records or something to be concerned about.”
Campbell and Taylor to Face Chelsea?
Newcastle’s disciplinary issues mean that veteran defender Sol Campbell may line up to face Chelsea at St James’s Park on Sunday.
With both Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini suspended for three games following their red cards for fouls on Johan Elmander against Bolton last weekend the Daily Mail reports Campbell, and fit-again Steven Taylor, look set for a run in the side.
Of the two, Taylor’s appearance would be the most significant. The London-born product of Newcastle’s academy is out of contract at the end of the year and negotiations over a new deal have broken down, prompting fears he could walk away for nothing at the end of the season. If Taylor can play his way back into the side he may be convinced to stay at St James’s beyond the end of his current deal.
Coloccini never wanted exit.
Magpies defender Fabricio Coloccini has insisted he never contemplated leaving Newcastle when the side were relegated in 2009, according to The Journal.
Coloccini was signed from La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna by Kevin Keegan and his first season in England saw Keegan sacked and Newcastle relegated. But the Argentinian insists that leaving never crossed his mind.
“When we were relegated I could not believe it,” he said. “I did not think that would ever happen when I signed.
“I had to think about what I was going to do, but I never really thought about leaving. For me that would have meant I was a failure. I would have left as a loser and I did not want to leave like that.
“That is not me, I did not come to England to leave after one bad season so all people in England thought I was a bad player and a waste of Newcastle’s money. I came to England to triumph.
“I hope I have done a lot better since that first season, and I hope people do not think I am a failure anymore.”