Family reasons almost led to Coloccini's Newcastle exit
Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini has defended his decision to try and force a move away from St James' Park.
The Argentina international cited homesickness as reason for attempting a switch to Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo in last month's transfer window.
Newcastle refused the transfer request and were left fuming when the centre-back expressed disappointment at failing to secure a move in an open letter to San Lorenzo fans.
Coloccini, who will lead his team-mates out to face Metalist Kharkiv in the first leg of their Europa League knockout tie on Thursday, believes his push for a return home was justified.
"I didn't regret it because I think that family is first. I think that I did everything and I wrote it in the letter," the 31-year-old said.
"Sometimes third parties don't understand you or contracts become more important than feelings.
"But I also understand them because that's what contracts are for and you have to respect them."
After an impressive campaign last term that saw Alan Pardew's side flirt with Champions League qualification, Newcastle have struggled this season and have turned attention to securing their top-flight status.
Losing top scorer Demba Ba to Chelsea in January was a key blow to their survival hopes, but Coloccini believes the club compensated with some handy acquisitions.
The arrivals of Moussa Sissoko and Mathieu Debuchy have shored up Pardew's side and sparked an upturn in form, and Coloccini is confident of his side producing a strong finish to the campaign.
"A bunch of good new players have arrived with positive things for the team," he said.
"Now we are bigger and also we are in the Europe League so I think that with a bigger team we can cope with the next fixtures."