Fabricio Coloccini accepts that there are ‘still some little things’ that Newcastle United need to work on.

Speaking after two clean sheets against Stoke and Bournemouth, the Newcastle Captain hopes this is a positive response to some of the criticism the defence has had.

Mike Ashley has repeatedly overlooked the need to invest in the defence and the team have paid the price.

The three central defenders who played in the Championship are still on Newcastle United’s books six years later and season after season the defence has looked poor.

Last year summed up the deficiencies, only rock bottom QPR conceded more goals than United.

Chancel Mbemba is seen as a decent start by most supporters but another quality centre-back to play alongside him, as well as a left-back, are amongst the minimum requirements for most.

A new Captain would also appear to be on the wish list for the vast majority of supporters but Coloccini claims that the team do have leaders, though he rather bizarrely claims that fans don’t appreciate this because it doesn’t transmit very well to those not on the pitch.

Clean sheets against a negative Stoke and a Bournemouth team without a single decent finisher are one thing.

However, Leicester have scored in every Premier League match this season, average two goals per game on the road and if passed fit, United will face striker of the moment Jamie Vardy.

A clean sheet on Saturday against Leicester will certainly sway a fair few more people that Newcastle are getting the hang of this defensive lark.

Fabricio Coloccini:

“We have strong characters in this team, that is not something I’m worried about.

“Sometimes, you might not be able to see that from outside the pitch and maybe sometimes some of the players are not as loud as they should be, but we have leaders.

“Rob Elliot is a good example because he was injured, but he wanted to play, he told the manager he wanted to play even though he had an injury. That is important and we need that.

“We have a lot of young players, and they have to learn.

“Getting the two clean sheets in a row was important, we have had a lot of criticism about the defence but that is football.

“Sometimes you have good games and sometimes bad, we are always trying to do our best for the team, these two clean sheets are very nice for all of us.

“I thought Bournemouth played really well and that game proved we still need to adjust a few things, there are some little things that we have to work on.

“The most important thing was the result, though, we got the three points and slowly we want to get more points.”