Hughton speaks up for Coloccini

The Argentine was shown a straight red card for an apparent eblow
on Bolton striker Johan Elmander during his side’s 5-1 defeat at
the Reebok Stadium. Coloccini now faces a three-game ban for the
offence, but Hughton insists the defender is not a malicious
player. “No arguments with the red card,” said Hughton. “With
Coloccini it is worth stating that he is not a malicious player. It
was a frustrating afternoon for him. I think Elmander was going to
do him for pace. I don’t think there is maliciousness in it.”
Coloccini could be joined on the sidelines by defensive partner
Mike Williamson following his off-the-ball clash with Elmander.
Elmander was left pole-axed after a clash with Williamson in the
first half which went unnoticed by referee Howard Webb. However,
Williamson could find himself handed a ban if the FA uses video
evidence to look at the incident. Suspension worriesHughton admits
Newcastle need to clean up their act as they already without Joey
Barton after his punch on Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pedersen earlier
this month. “It is something we have to be a bit careful about
because of the size of the squad,” added Hughton. “It was a big
blow to miss Joey in the fashion we did, and now of course we will
miss Coloccini presumably for three games. “It is a big blow for
us. We do have a tight squad. Now we will go into more testing
times over the Christmas period.”