FABRICIO Coloccini says he and his Newcastle team-mates are united behind manager Alan Pardew – and ready to pull through a “difficult” time for the club.
The Magpies are third from bottom of the Premier League ahead of next weekend’s return to action at home to Leicester.
Frustrated fans have continued to call for Pardew’s dismissal over the past few weeks.
But the 53-year-old – the top flight’s second-longest serving manager – retains the backing of club owner Mike Ashley.
And captain Coloccini, a survivor of the Magpies’ relegation campaign in 2008-09, has conceded that Newcastle must improve – and quickly.
But the 32-year-old feels that Newcastle’s squad is good enough to climb the table amid fears the club is facing a season-long relegation battle.
“We have to improve and look forward,” Coloccini said.
“It’s a difficult time for us, but we have confidence in this group and the manager.
“We have a tight group and we’re staying positive.”
Coloccini’s own form has come under scrutiny from supporters, with the defender having been culpable for a number of goals conceded so far this season.
The influential Argentina international, however, remains the first name on Pardew’s teamsheet.