Newcastle skipper hoping for new recruits

Fabricio Coloccini
Fabricio Coloccini
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Fabricio Coloccini is hopeful Newcastle United’s squad will be stronger by the time the club resumes its relegation fight.

The threatened club remains third-bottom of the Premier League after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Watford.

Obviously, it is better for us if we can get more players to come in with us.

Miles Starforth

Newcastle are not in action again until a week on Wednesday, when they take on Everton at Goodison Park.

In the meantime, they are looking to sign at least one player – a striker is the priority – before this month’s transfer window closes a week today.

Steve McClaren’s side have struggled for goals all season. And striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, signed from Anderlecht last summer, is struggling to shoulder the club’s goalscoring burden in his first season on English soil.

Captain Coloccini has acknowledged the need to improve the “quality of the team and the squad” before the February 2 deadline.

“I can’t really speak about whether or not players will come in,” said Coloccini.

“It’s something that the manager and the club have to decide.

“Obviously, it is better for us if we can get more players to come in with us.

“It’s better to improve the quality of the team and the squad, but it’s not something we have to worry about as players. It is for other people to decide.”

Rolando Aarons, operating as a left wing-back, had the first opportunity of the game. The ball fell to the 20-year-old on the edge of the Watford area, but he steered his half volley just wide of Heurelho Gomes’ left post.

After 17 minutes, Etienne Capoue seemed certain to score when Troy Deeney’s effort was fumbled by Rob Elliot but the Newcastle keeper scrambled to his feet to block the Frenchman’s follow-up strike.

Midway through the first half Georginio Wijnaldum teed up Mitrovic, but his effort was saved by the legs of Gomes and the ball drifted out for a corner.

That was as good as it got with referee Andre Marriner blowing his whistle on a rather dreary first half.

The second period was a different story altogether, and just 44 seconds had gone when Capoue dinked a ball over the top of Newcastle’s static defence and Odion Ighalo had only Elliot to beat.

The Nigerian made no mistake as he rounded the Magpies’ stopper and side-footed home into an empty net.

Replays suggested Ighalo, now with 14 goals to his name this term, may have been offside, but the home fans were not complaining.

Watford were in command and moments after Valon Behrami was booked for being adjudged to have dived in the penalty area, the home side doubled their advantage.

Newcastle failed to deal with a corner and the ball fell to Craig Cathcart who fired home from close range shortly before the hour mark.

A double substitution ensued for the visitors with Yoan Gouffran and Ayoze Perez replacing Aarons and Saivet.

Moments after coming on, the latter found himself unmarked and six yards from goal, but his header - following a pinpoint cross by Moussa Sissoko - went high and wide.

It did not look as though it would be Newcastle’s afternoon, but suddenly they were handed a lifeline when Jamaal Lascelles out-jumped Miguel Britos to head home Jonjo Shelvey’s corner.

Substitute Perez was then played through by Wijnaldum but fired his shot over.

Newcastle pressed for an equaliser but it never came as Watford took the points.

Watford: Gomes, Paredes (Nyom 89), Cathcart, Britos, Ake, Behrami, Capoue, Watson, Jurado (Abdi 77), Deeney (Amrabat 90), Ighalo. Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Prodl, Guedioura, Anya. Booked: Behrami, Britos. Goals: Ighalo 46, Cathcart 58.

Newcastle: Elliot, Lascelles, Coloccini (Riviere 88), Mbemba, Janmaat, Shelvey, Saivet (Perez 59), Aarons (Gouffran 59), Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Mitrovic. Subs Not Used: Thauvin, Darlow, Taylor, Marveaux. Booked: Mbemba. Goals: Lascelles 71.

Att: 20,611 Ref: Andre Marriner (West Midlands).