Hughton speaks up for Coloccini

Published Nov. 22, 2010 7:15 a.m. ET

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."