FABRICIO Coloccini today warned Manchester City that Newcastle United are looking to wreck their title hopes – and play in the Champions League.
Coloccini and his team-mates take on the Premier League leaders at a sold-out Sports Direct Arena on Sunday.
Alan Pardew’s side are level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with two games left to play this season.
Newcastle claimed their first league win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 1986 on Wednesday night to stay in the race for Champions League football.
Coloccini, Pardew’s inspirational captain, is confident United have another big performance in them for the visit of Roberto Di Matteo’s expensively-assembled team.
“It was fantastic to be captain of this team – I’m very proud,” Coloccini said.
“They were giving everything in every game, and they showed a lot of ambition to win.
“For us, it’s a big chance to play in the Champions League.
“We are in the Europa League, but to play in the Champions League would be fantastic for the fans and the city.
“We will fight to give this present to the fans.”
Reflecting on the Chelsea game, which was decided by two stunning goals from Papiss Demba Cisse, Coloccini added: “It was one of the best results of the season – to win at Chelsea was very important.
“It was good for our confidence before we play Manchester City.
“We knew that it would be a tough game, but I think we did a great job.
“All the team defended well, when you have Papiss and Demba (Ba), you always know they’re going to score goals.”
City lead Manchester United on goal difference after their 1-0 win in Monday night’s derby at the Ethiad Stadium, and Coloccini is under no illusions about the task ahead of Newcastle at the Sports Direct Arena.
“It’s going to be difficult,” said the defender. “They want to win the league, and if they are going to do that, they must beat us.
“But we’re playing at home in front of our fans. It’s our last game at home as well, and we’re fighting for a Champions League place.
“We’re going to do everything to beat them and to give our fans another happy day.”
Meanwhile, Spurs – who lead United by goal difference – are at relegation-threatened Aston Villa on Sunday.