ALAN PARDEW thinks Newcastle United’s unsettled captain Fabricio Coloccini will realise how much love there is for him on Tyneside when he steps out at St James’ Park tomorrow.
Coloccini’s future remains clouded in doubt and he is set for showdown talks with the club at the beginning of next week.
San Lorenzo, the Argentine club he is keen to rejoin, have earmarked Monday as the deadline for a decision to be made.
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But Pardew, who will keep him as captain when Reading travel to Tyneside tomorrow, thinks his second outing since the situation became public knowledge could help convince him to stay for the long term.
The Newcastle boss said: “I think there’s a determination to play well from Colo. He did that at Norwich last weekend and I hope he does that on Saturday because I know our fans will remind him of what he has here.
“I went to a coaching course this week, and sometimes it is good to go to those things because you remember what you actually have got, the fantastic job I've got here and the fantastic fans. I think they will show that to Colo on Saturday. They understand. We are all trying to work together towards getting a resolution.”
And in Pardew’s experience as a manager he thinks sometimes off-the-field distractions can bring the best out of players.
He said: "I can give you an example of a player I had at West Ham who had big gambling problems and another player at West Ham who had gambling and drink problems. Both those players found sanctuary on the football pitch. It was the only sanctuary they had. It was the only time they had that and they played well.
“Players play through unbelievable situations. I can think of a player at Southampton who got a man of the match award whose cousin had died two days previously in a stabbing incident.
"The football pitch is a natural sanctuary. Everyone who kicks a football, once you play football, or sport, or tennis, everything is forgotten.”
He added: “We’re going to sit down next week and hopefully iron out the issues and come to a conclusion where Colo stays, that’s what I hope for as manager.”