Alan Pardew remains hopeful of keeping Fabricio Coloccini at Newcastle after watching the Magpies' captain put in an impressive display to hold off Norwich.
Newcastle and Norwich played out potentially one of the most boring 0-0 draws of the season at Carrow Road.
Pardew's men sit just two points above the relegation zone after they failed to puncture the Canaries defence, but the Toon boss took heart from his defence's display, and that of Coloccini in particular.
Coloccini last week asked for a transfer back to his native Argentina so he can be reunited with his wife. Wanted by San Lorenzo, the defender showed no sign of his off-the-field troubles, putting in a solid performance which was much to his manager's delight.
"He was excellent today," Pardew said. "Of the four centre-halves on the pitch he was the most assured. He gave us that calmness in the heat of battle and you need that."
The Canaries, meanwhile, missed an opportunity to put their poor festive run to bed. "There was a lack of confidence in our offensive play," manager Chris Hughton said. "We had plenty of three on two situations but we couldn't find the final ball. Our crosses were poor and that was very frustrating."