Belfast Telegraph

Coloccini does not want manager job

Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini has insisted he has no designs on the manager's job with Alan Pardew's exit imminent.

The 33-year-old Argentina international was an early favourite with the bookmakers when news of Crystal Palace's approach for Pardew emerged, although sources on Tyneside were swift to dismiss the speculation.

Now Coloccini has re-affirmed his intention to concentrate on his playing career having first been linked with the post last year when Pardew found himself under intense pressure.

Speaking after his side's roller-coaster 3-3 Barclays Premier League draw with Burnley on Thursday afternoon, he said: "I am a football player now and want to play for a few years more. I want to enjoy being on the pitch.

"It's not for now."

Assistant manager John Carver took charge of the team with Pardew in the stands for Palace's trip to Aston Villa, and Coloccini admitted it had been a tough few days for the players.

He said: "It is a difficult situation, but John Carver is with us. He has the experience to take the job.

"Of course it is difficult, but it has not affected the team. When you go on the field, you have to leave all the problems behind you."

Carver's audition - he has ambitions to return to management in his own right - looked to be going swimmingly after a good start.

Newcastle dominated the first half as Burnley lost three men - skipper Jason Shackell, Dean Marney and substitute Kevin Long - to a combination of injury and illness, and led 2-1 at the break courtesy of strikes from Steven Taylor and Jack Colback either side of Paul Dummett's own goal.

However, comeback kings Burnley, who fought back from 2-0 down at Manchester City on Sunday to claim a point, responded spectacularly after the break and got their reward when Danny Ings headed them level.

But having also hit the woodwork on four occasions, they looked to be heading for defeat when Moussa Sissoko restored the Magpies' lead 12 minutes from time, only for George Boyd to dash the home side's hopes with four minutes remaining.

For Burnley boss Sean Dyche, it was another remarkable afternoon just five days after his side came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Manchester City.

Dyche said: "There is a mentality here that is very, very strong, and it's been there all season. People have said to me, 'You must be pleased with the belief now' - I was pleased with it at the beginning of the season.

"The performances over this Christmas period have been absolutely outstanding. How we didn't get anything against Liverpool is a head-scratcher in itself; we were excellent at Manchester City and I thought we were excellent today.

"We have just played five out of the top 10 and taken five points over that Christmas period with a lot of games - very good signs about what we think we can do this season."

Dyche sent out the same starting XI for the sixth successive game, but the premature exits of Shackell, Marney and Long - he fears the latter may have suffered a serious ankle injury - tore his plans apart, although the manager was not about to feel sorry for himself.

He said: "I don't do excuses, I haven't got time for excuses at any level of football, and certainly not at this level of football."

Carver was left to reflect upon what might have been after a classic game of two halves.

He said: "I am actually sitting here so disappointed because we were so good in the first half and so poor in the second half that we actually have got away with a point. We didn't deserve that.

"I said to Sean at the end of the game, 'We didn't deserve that', and I think he must have thought I was saying we should have won the game, but no, by no means. Burnley should have won the game."


From Belfast Telegraph