Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini: It's all about Premier League survival

Whether Newcastle survive or not, Fabricio Coloccini will still have great hair. Photo: PA

Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini is desperate to avoid experiencing the bitter taste of relegation for a second time.

The 31-year-old Argentina international returned from a two-month injury lay-off to play his part in last weekend's 0-0 Barclays Premier League draw at West Ham.

That may have been a positive result, but victories for Aston Villa and Wigan and a point for Sunderland left the Magpies sitting just three points clear of the relegation zone with two games remaining and in danger of dropping into the bottom three had the Latics beaten Swansea at the DW Stadium on Tuesday evening.

In the event, Roberto Martinez's men twice surrendered the lead before eventually losing 3-2 and that means victory for Newcastle at relegated QPR on Sunday would drag them to the brink of safety, staving off a repeat of the nightmare scenario Coloccini experienced in 2009.

He told the club's official website, www.nufc.co.uk: "It's a bit different because last time, every game we thought 'the next game we will win' and 'the next game we will win', and that never happened.

"But now we are focussed. The team knows what we are fighting and that's very important. We are fighting all together.

"When we are where we are now, you can criticise whatever you want, but when we go onto the pitch or come to the training ground, we try to do our best.

"We are together, we know what we are fighting and we have big players who have played in the Champions League and won leagues, so nobody wants to go down here."

Coloccini, like his team-mates, watched Wigan's midweek game knowing exactly how dire the consequences could be for the Magpies, but while he was understandably happy with the result, he knows they cannot rely on anyone but themselves as they attempt to end their fears once and for all.

Alan Pardew's men are without a league win in four attempts and have taken three points on the road only once all season, at Villa on January 29, a situation they need to remedy this weekend if they are to avoid a nervous final day of the campaign.

Coloccini said: "If we do the right things, do our job, it's going to be finished.

"We have to think we can win the games, not about what happens with Wigan or the other teams, just with us because we are Newcastle United and we have to go on the pitch and win.

"We have to think about ourselves - not the other teams - because we are three points above the relegation zone. We have to do our job and then try to think about next season because Newcastle have to be in the Premier League.

"When we started the season, we were thinking maybe we could get a cup or maybe the Europa League and now we are fighting relegation.

"It's different, but now we have to have our feet on the floor and work hard because if we don't work like a team, it will be difficult."

Coloccini's return represents a major boost for Pardew, who saw his side capitulate horribly against both Sunderland and Liverpool at St James' Park to slide deep into trouble.

The former Deportivo La Coruna defender missed 10 weeks after breaking two bones in his back when he landed awkwardly after an acrobatic clearance during a 4-2 win over Southampton on February 24.

Pardew's captain, of course, was persuaded to remain on Tyneside in January after asking to leave the club for personal reasons and his future remains uncertain.

However, Coloccini was disappointed to hear suggestions his absence was down to his desire to return to South America.

He said: "I heard that I wouldn't play because I wanted to leave and that I don't give 100 per cent.

"I don't like to speak to the press too much because I'm like that. I try to speak on the pitch and I think on the pitch, I can do the things well, but I always give 100 per cent.

"I love playing football. I don't think about what happens in my future - I just want to play."