Coloccini: Players back Pardew
Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini insists manager Alan Pardew has the full support of his players as he prepares for his enforced exile.
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2. Fabricio Coloccini
The 52-year-old boss will begin this three-match stadium ban as the Magpies head for Fulham in the Barclays Premier League, and will subsequently spend four matches watching from the stands as part of his punishment for headbutting Hull midfielder David Meyler.
Pardew has also been fined a total of £160,000 and left in little doubt that his behaviour at the KC Stadium, where his side won 4-1, was unacceptable.
However, while the contrite Newcastle manager readies himself to deal with the consequences of his actions, Coloccini has confirmed that he has the backing of the dressing room.
The 32-year-old Argentina international said: "Of course we are behind him. He's the manager and he is like our team-mate. The players and the club support him.
"He knows what he did. It's finished. All of us can do something wrong.
"After these seven games, he is going to have the chance to show to everyone it was a mistake, and no more than that."
Pardew will give his team-talk at the hotel before handing over the reins to assistant John Carver as the players board the bus for Craven Cottage, and will be helpless from that point on.
But he has faith in Carver, who worked under Sir Bobby Robson at St James' Park and led the club to a 3-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Blackburn as caretaker manager in September 2004.
And the players share that trust.
Coloccini said: "He's an experienced man. He was here for the best years when Sir Bobby Robson was here.
"It's nothing new for him. He has all of our help."
Newcastle will run out against struggling Fulham - the Londoners are three points adrift at the foot of the table and have taken just two from their last nine games - looking for a third successive victory and an eighth on the road this season.
That would match the number they achieved two seasons ago when they finished in fifth place, and it is a source of frustration to Pardew that they have not managed to ally that with the home form they produced during that campaign.
He said: "It comes from having a good game-plan away from home, having good pace in the team - which we have and which was a real problem for Hull - and sometimes a little bit of luck, which we have had in certain away games.
"It's a shame that it's not been reflected at home in the same manner because our home form has been patchy and we are certainly looking to improve that, even though after Palace, we have got two really tricky games."
Those games are against high-flying Everton and Manchester United, who will arrive on Tyneside determined to avenge their 1-0 defeat by the Magpies at Old Trafford on December 7.
In the shorter term, Pardew will hope Coloccini's return after a family bereavement will help them cope with full-back Mathieu Debuchy's groin injury, and perhaps even more significantly, Loic Remy's absence for the next three games with a calf problem.
Remy's 13 goals for the Magpies have proved invaluable this season, particularly with Papiss Cisse and January arrival Luuk de Jong largely becalmed.
The France international is on loan for the season at St James' and is keeping his options open despite Pardew's hopes of securing a permanent deal.
However, the manager was untroubled by comments made in a lengthy interview in France during the week suggesting he has ambitions to play for one of Europe's five biggest clubs one day.
Pardew said: "I wouldn't expect him to say anything less. Of course he comes out of the limelight now, but what he has done for us has been terrific and I can't speak highly enough about him."