Newcastle United v Tottenham: Carver pins hopes on Coloccini amid fan boycott plans
Newcastle United welcome Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday with the prospect of a fan boycott looming amid their continued struggles of late.
John Carver's side are on a five-match losing streak and sections of supporters are set to make their discontent clear by staging protests before and after the game, while many will snub the fixture itself.
It lends a further sour note to what is proving to be another frustrating end to a disappointing campaign for the north-east club, who will hope the visit of Spurs can provide a turning point in their bid to make certain their safety.
A 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane came early in a six-match winning run before the turn of the year - a sequence that included triumphs over Manchester City and Liverpool - but they are now nine points from the bottom three with six games remaining.
Carver welcomes back captain Fabricio Coloccini from suspension and hopes the Argentinean's return can help stop Harry Kane, who was nominated for both the PFA Player and Young Player of the Year awards on Thursday.
"[Kane's] been outstanding and I think he's earned the right to get into the England team," said Carver.
"It's great to see a young British talent do so well but we've got a more settled back four now. Daryl Janmaat will go to right-back, with [Mike] Williamson and Coloccini [at centre-half].
"Hopefully, they can stem his flow."
Newcastle - who see Moussa Sissoko start his two-match suspension for his red card in Monday's defeat to Liverpool - have scored just twice in their last seven games, with the absence of top scorer Papiss Cisse doubtlessly a contributing factor.
Like Sunday's hosts, Spurs too have struggled in front of goal lately.
Kane has not found the net since returning from England duty and Mauricio Pochettino's side needing points quickly if they are to keep alive their hopes of a place in next season's UEFA Europa League.
With goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (knee) and defender Jan Vertonghen (illness) having missed Spurs' last two outings, Kane has assumed the captain's armband and the 21-year-old spoke this week of not letting his desire not to allow his remarkable season to fizzle out.
"I'm delighted to be nominated for both [PFA] awards, to have that appreciation from fellow players is a huge honour and it shows you are doing the right things," he told the club's official website.
"It's been a hectic, crazy season with a lot of highs and this is another special moment.
"The last couple of games have been disappointing, we've not produced the performances we’ve been looking for but there are plenty of games left, starting at Newcastle on Sunday."