The future of want-away captain Fabricio Coloccini is not proving to be a problematic distraction at Newcastle United, insists Yohan Cabaye.
Argentina international Coloccini is understood to be eyeing a return to his homeland due to his wife reportedly falling ill, with former club San Lorenzo believed to be interested.
However, despite the best efforts of Newcastle's press staff in preventing Cabaye from discussing the subject, the France midfielder was quick to claim that the other players are not thinking about his situation and that the defender remains essential to the club’s defence.
Speaking to reporters after Saturday's 0-0 draw at Norwich, he said: "Colo plays for Newcastle, he is a Newcastle player, so for us nothing has changed.
"Nobody was thinking about that situation on the pitch. The back four and the keeper all played well.
"For us a clean sheet was the most important thing and will give us more confidence. It will make us more solid."
Cabaye himself made a long-awaited return to the Newcastle team when he appeared as a second-half substitute at Carrow Road and the former Lille man delighted to make his comeback, but admitted it had been slightly rushed.
"I’m very happy to be back. It was probably a little early to come back," he continued. "But I was feeling confident and comfortable on the pitch.
"The manager asked me during the week if I was ready and I said, ‘Yes, no problem’. I was ready to try to help the team.
"I don’t think I was asked to come back because of all the defeats. I just worked hard to get fit and help my team-mates.
"Every game we lost I was far away from the pitch and I could not do anything about it. The only thing I could so was to get fit and come back to help.
"I can’t explain the difference in results from last season. If it was simple I would tell you. Maybe we started to lose confidence after we lost a couple of games. After each loss it became more and more difficult to get out of the run.
"From now until the end of the season every game will be tough. We need to work very hard to win each one.
"I enjoyed my 30 minutes on the pitch. We didn’t lose the game so it was a good day. Thanks to the fans for a great reception."
The match also saw a friend of Cabaye’s France colleague and former Lille team-mate Mathieu Debuchy receive a tricky introduction to the Premier League up against Anthony Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan.
"I think he did well," Cabaye continued. "He only had a week to work with his new team-mates. I think he will get better week after week and he is a great new player for Newcastle United.
"It is different to France. You can be more physical, and he likes that."
Norwich defender Michael Turner felt the result and performance were commendable from the Canaries’ perspective, highlighting the fact it ended a run of four consecutive Premier League defeats.
The ex-Sunderland man said: "Obviously it is a huge positive we can take from this, to get a point on the board after the four defeats we have had and of course the clean sheet is always nice.
"But it does feel a little bit like two points that got away. We didn’t create as many chances as we would have hoped for.
"We felt comfortable we were going to keep them out and we always felt we were going to find a breakthrough. We had a few half decent chances that maybe we could have done a bit better with, but all in all we are disappointed with our play in the final third."