FABRICIO Coloccini says helping Newcastle United qualify for Europe would be the perfect end to a “dream season” on Tyneside.
The Magpies skipper outlined his commitment to the cause by putting pen to paper on a new contract, which runs until 2016, last weekend.
Newcastle face Arsenal at the Emirates on Monday night, in a clash which could have a big say in whether or not Alan Pardew’s men will be playing in Europe next season.
Buoyed by Sunday’s late equaliser against Sunderland, Coloccini wants the team to keep pushing to reach their Euro goal.
He said: “There’s still so much to play for. I have good team-mates around me, and you look at how well we are doing.
“We can go places. Everything is in place here, we’re going the right direction.”
There were fears that Coloccini could be headed for the exit door as negotiaitons over his new deal rumbled on.
Many fans were concerned that the Argentinian could follow in the footsteps of former full-back Jose Enrique, who turned down a deal before waiting for Liverpool to pounce in the final year of his contract.
However, Coloccini revealed he had no such worries about the length of time it took to get the new contract signed and sealed.
“I knew things would be OK,” he said. “It’s normal that it can take so long, sometimes it takes time. The deal is a long time to stay here.”
Now Coloccini is hoping to finish the campaign on a high, and book a return to European action for the first time since 2006, when Glenn Roeder’s Magpies got into the the Uefa Cup through the Intertoto Cup.
The campaign came to a halt in Alkmaar after a 4-4 draw saw Newcastle exit the competition on away goals.
Coloccini added: “I like being captain, it’s a really good honour. I hope that we can finish in a good position this season which would make it an even better year.”