Pardew backs Coloccini to return to top form

The Newcastle boss is confident he will get more out of his captain, who recently pledged his future to the club after an unsettled last 18 months on Tyneside, next season
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has backed captain Fabricio Coloccini to rediscover his best form in the Premier League next season.

7/4 Newcastle are 7/4 with William Hill to finish in the top half of the Premier League next season
The Argentine defender started 27 games in the top flight in 2013-14 but his future had been called into question when he stated his desire to return to his homeland last year.

Having now committed his future to the Magpies, Pardew spoke glowingly of Coloccini's leadership qualities and is confident he will play a major part in his plans for next season.

"I think that core leadership of having Colo here is important," Pardew told the Shields Gazette.

"Take me out of the equation, you've got [owner] Mike [Ashley], you've got [managing director] Lee Charnley and you've got Colo. That's direct leadership through the club and I think that's important.

"He is our captain and he's had to do a tough job this year when we've felt down and been a bit negative with ourselves.

"He's been important. We all know if he plays like he did against Cardiff - and gets back to that level - we've got a top player."