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.”