The worrying news today is that our supreme captain and centre-back, Fabricio, Coloccini, is struggling with a groin injury picked up in training.

The double good news though is that Alan Pardew will only play him if he thinks he’s ok, while also revealing something about the player’s character in that Coloccini himself is happy to put himself on the pitch whatever the risk of further  injury and has already done it this season.

Speaking to the Evening Chronicle the manager had this to say; “He’s been brilliant for us. Long may that continue. He played at Bolton when he shouldn’t have played after his back flared up in training and he had a spasm.

It just goes to show you he will go to any length to play if he can”.

While we are all desperate to be in the next round of the cup, I think we all know it could and probably would prove catastrophic if on top of Steven Taylor’s long-term injury we lost his defensive partner who is possibly our player of the season so far.