Coloccini not targeting Europe

Toon skipper says it might be best to leave it for another year

Fabricio Coloccini: Wants Newcastle to focus on building foundations and keeping their best players

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Fabricio Coloccini believes it would be too early for Newcastle to compete in Europe next season as he feels there is still a lot of work to do to build a strong squad.

The Magpies only returned to the Premier League in 2010 but, after a steady first year back in the top flight, are now flying high after seven games of the new campaign.

They are unbeaten so far and currently occupy fourth spot, sparking discussion about where they might finish come next May.

Coloccini is not paying attention to any whispers about continental competition, as he thinks Newcastle need to concentrate on setting up a solid platform for the future and keeping hold of their best players.

"I don't know about Europe next year. It is too early to talk about Europe - we need to keep going and keep working and then we will see," he told the Evening Chronicle.

"First of all we have to build the foundations at this club.

"I would prefer to leave the Europa League for the year after next - not next year.

"I think we need to build a good team, a good squad - that is the biggest priority for us.

Big game

"If we qualify but we do not have the right squad, it could be one year in Europe and then back to where we were before.

"If we do it right then we could qualify every year.

"I would like us to enjoy every season - not just have one season, and then players leave the club."

Newcastle face a stern test of their European credentials when Tottenham visit St James' Park next Sunday, and Coloccini admits it would be a massive boost if they could pick up three points.

"I think it's a big game. The fans can enjoy things at the moment, they can look forward to the way things are going on the pitch," he said.

"We will try our best to beat Tottenham. If we can then it will be a big win for us so we must give it our very best."