Fabricio Coloccini sees positives after Aston Villa peg back Newcastle

Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini is looking upwards rather than over his shoulder after playing his part in a significant upturn in the club’s fortunes.

Fabricio Coloccini sees positives after Aston Villa peg back Newcastle

The 33-year-old Argentinian and his team-mates were denied a third successive Barclays Premier League victory when struggling Aston Villa left a rain-soaked St James’ Park with a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening.

However, a return of seven points from a possible nine against Liverpool, Tottenham, and Villa has increased belief that the Magpies can drag themselves out of trouble.

Coloccini, who fired Newcastle into a first-half lead with his first goal for 13 months, told nufcTV: “It’s always nice when you can help the team to take a point.

"That’s very important because we are still going forward — we didn’t lose the game — and that’s going to be important at the end of the year.

“It was a bit difficult. There was too much water on the pitch — that’s why we couldn’t play much football, like we normally try to do.

“From the last nine points, we have taken seven, so it’s positive.”

Steve McClaren’s men remain far too close for comfort to the Premier League basement following excellent wins for Bournemouth and Norwich over the weekend.

They looked to be on their way to another three points when, after a tight start to the game, Coloccini gave them a 38th-minute lead when he latched on to Siem de Jong’s corner and beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Villa, who arrived on Tyneside without a win in 15 league outings since the opening day of the campaign, refused to buckle and grew into the game as it wore on with substitute Rudy Gestede allowing them to take a more direct approach.

That said, Newcastle should have wrapped up the win with 57 minutes gone when Georginio Wijnaldum picked out the unmarked De Jong and saw him head wastefully wide with the goal at his mercy.

Villa took full advantage of their escape within four minutes when midfielder Jordan Ayew capped an impressive individual display with a right-foot missile to level the scores.

Newcastle’s Irish international ‘keeper Rob Elliot made a fine late save from Gestede and substitute Ayoze Perez fired over at the other end as the game reached a tense conclusion, but ultimately both managers had to settle for a point.

Villa boss Remi Garde was delighted with the response of his players, and particularly Ayew’s contribution to a game he will hope is a turning point for a club which will head into Christmas rooted to the foot of the table.

Garde said: “It was a brilliant goal from Jordan Ayew.

"He is a very talented player, but not only talented, he works hard for the team defensively, offensively and he has been rewarded by a very nice goal.

“All the players worked hard in the second half and that’s why we came back.”

NEWCASTLE:

Elliot, Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett, Sissoko, Anita (Thauvin 71), Colback, Wijnaldum, De Jong (Perez 59), Cisse (Mitrovic 33).

ASTON VILLA:

Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Lescott, Bacuna, Westwood, Sanchez, Gana, Veretout, Sinclair (Gestede 60), Ayew.

Referee:

Kevin Atkinson.

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