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Newcastle midfielder Colback facing FA betting probe

Newcastle midfielder Jack Colback is being investigated over allegedly breaking betting rules, Press Association Sport understands.

Colback is being investigated over allegedly breaking betting rules. Credit: PA

Gambling rules introduced in 2014 forbid players and coaches from betting on any footballing activity worldwide.

Colback could now face Football Association charges, even though it is understood that the match in which the 26-year-old allegedly broke these rules has no bearing on Newcastle's fight against relegation from the Premier League.

It is FA policy not to comment on such cases until an individual is charged. But Press Association Sport understands the FA is looking into allegations that betting rules have been breached.

Colback has been a regular for Newcastle since joining from neighbours Sunderland in 2014, and played in the club's goalless draw at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Manchester City's Martin Demichelis accepted a charge that he broke betting rules earlier this season. The Argentina centre-back, 35, was accused of 12 breaches breaches of FA rule E8 concerning matches played between January 22 and 28 this year.

Aston Villa v Newcastle starting line-ups


Townsend: Points on board best thing for Newcastle

Andros Townsend scored the winner against Crystal Palace. Credit: PA

Andros Townsend would rather have points on the board than games in hand as the Premier League survival race approaches its climax.

Townsend's superb free-kick eased Newcastle out of the drop zone last weekend as a 1-0 win over Crystal Place, coupled with Sunderland's draw at Stoke and Norwich's defeat at Arsenal, provided another twist.

The Magpies are only a point better off than the Black Cats and two ahead of the Canaries having played a game more as they head for Aston Villa on Saturday, but the former Tottenham midfielder is happy to be in that position.

You'd rather have points on the board than playing catch-up with games in hand.

We have our points on the board. It's now down to Norwich and Sunderland to get their points in their game in hand.

We have done our job and hopefully we can go to Villa on Saturday and do it all again. We need to get three points then leave it to the others.

– Andros Townsend

Benitez praises Newcastle's 'character' and 'passion'

Benitez is starting to turn things around at Newcastle, but is it too late? Credit: PA

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez believes his players have proved they have the character and belief to win their Premier League relegation battle.

Goals from Papiss Cisse and Jack Colback saw the Magpies come from 2-0 down at half-time at Anfield after goals from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana to secure an important point in their quest to avoid the drop.

It ensured they avoided an unwanted club record of 10 successive away defeats and means they have taken five points from their last three matches, the last two of which have been draws against Manchester City and Liverpool.

After the match at Anfield, Benitez said:

We needed to show character and belief - we did it late but we did it and that is the positive thing. They (the players) have to realise where we are, what we have to do and how we have to play if we want to stay up.

I have said so many times since I have been here they have trained well, worked hard and they need confidence. When the game is 1-0 down maybe away they don't have the confidence but they showed character, reaction and passion.

I told the players it is important to understand the reaction is the way but it is more important not to make mistakes and not to give teams the chance to go ahead at the beginning of the game.

– Rafael Benitez
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