Steve McClaren has revealed he is actively “encouraging” Fabricio Coloccini to become “more vocal” – as he believes it will only improve his performances for Newcastle.
Some Newcastle supporters have questioned the wisdom in making the Argentine United’s captain, due to his reluctance to order his team-mates about.
This is something McClaren himself has noticed, and while he believes leadership is a ‘collective responsibility’, he does understand the argument for Coloccini to be more vocal on the pitch.
“I think Fabricio was terrific against Manchester United (during the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford back in August),” McClaren told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
“It’s (leadership’s) a collective thing and maybe, sometimes, Fabricio tries to plug the gaps of everybody.
“Sometimes, he tries to look after everybody instead of looking after his own game, and that can expose him.
“When Colo’s at his best, he concentrates on his job and I think that was the case on Saturday.
“He did that excellently, and it was a good job we had him.”
During the summer, Coloccini was linked with a reunion with ex-Magpies boss Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace but the Argentine eventually committed to United by signing a contract extension until at least 2017.
And McClaren has revealed that, once Coloccini committed, the Newcastle head coach and his backroom staff started working with the defender to become “more vocal”.
McClaren added: “He leads by example. We’ve talked to him a lot about the responsibility and the role that he has within the team.
“Once he came back (in the summer) and committed to us and bought in (by signing a contract extension), he’s been terrific.
“I think he’s becoming more vocal, and that’s something we’re encouraging. If we keep on this way, then we’ll be okay.
“He has to lead by example to gain that respect.
“He knows and we tell him – as captain, you have to make sure that you do your job first, and make sure you do it well.
“On Saturday, when we needed him, he was really top drawer.”