Fabricio Coloccini absence costing Newcastle top spot?

Words by Kevin Doocey on .

Coloccini - Being missed at the heart of the Newcastle United defence?

The questions are really mounting about Newcastle United and whether we'll throw our promotion hopes out the window. It's ridiculous to say we're slipping up as this is our first defeat in 15 games in the league, albeit a big defeat. The pairing at the back yesterday of Mike Williamson and Fitz Hall were brilliant against Cardiff one Friday last, but just couldn't keep out Rob Hulse and co. last night. Chris Hughton said that the penalty decision changed the game and he is certainly right because we were banging at the door as soon as Derby went ahead and for long periods before the penalty was awarded. Needless to say, we didn't concede three goals from bad luck. Poor marking was on the menu last night too.

The question must be really raised, is Fabricio Coloccini being missed at the centre of defence? I must say new boy Mike Williamson has looked the part for Newcastle United so far and even Fitz Hall has shown signs of a sturdy centre back. However, Coloccini was a £10.3m signing from Deportivo two summers ago, and still has to prove himself at the top level.

It's far too early to doubt us yet, but as you'd expect, the tabloids are having a field day and will do until we start winning again. Throughout the season there hasn't been a huge amount of negativity towards Newcastle in the media, quite frankly because everything was going good. permanent manager, new signings and aloft the Coca Cola Championship table.

The fans have been happy with our response since relegation but the only thing that we are really questioning, is Chris Hughton's away tactics. We seem to play a very different type of football when away from home, whether it's the size of the pitches not allowing us to play the way we want to play or just the sheer pressure put on us when we visit other teams, I really don't know. Every game now until the end of the season will be tough and we're lucky to have availed of the January transfer window nicely, it could prove the decisive move. Finally too, Chris has created himself a selection crisis at the back, with a fair few to chose from now.

Coloccini's return isn't too far away but who'll he'll replace at the back beats me, especially when Steven Taylor makes his way back into the fray albeit a while away yet. It's good to see we've competition for places in the team but we've also competition at the top of the table, tough one as well.

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