Newcastle manager Alan Pardew backs Fabricio Coloccini to stay at St James' Park
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew insists Fabricio Coloccini can be a mainstay of their defence for years to come.
Last Updated: 28/09/13 2:01pm
The 31-year-old Argentine looked set to leave St James' Park earlier in the year for personal reasons but was denied a move to San Lorenzo and is proving his worth for the Magpies.
Pardew said when asked of Coloccini's importance: "I don't know how to put that into words, really. He is very, very important, a very steady, calming influence.
"Last year when he wasn't playing, there was something missing from the team.
"That's why it's so important that he stayed - and hopefully he will stay for a lot longer than this year as well."
Newcastle paid Deportivo La Coruna £10.3m for Coloccini's services in 2008 and, as an experienced international who stuck with the club through their relegation, he is considered the leader of a rearguard that includes goalkeeper Tim Krul and defenders Davide Santon, Mathieu Debuchy and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Pardew added: "We have got a new back four this year because Mapou has played all year, and Colo, Mathieu and Davide.
"That's been our back four, with Tim, quite settled, thank goodness and long may that continue.
"We have Steven [Taylor] and Willo [Mike Williamson] in the background, so we have got good options there.
"I think Mathieu will certainly improve as this year goes on, there's no doubt about that."