GUS POYET believes Sunderland have to take “98 per cent” of the credit for Jack Colback’s inclusion in the England squad.
Former Sunderland midfielder Colback was yesterday called up by England boss Roy Hodgson for next month’s internationals - two months after leaving the Stadium of Light for arch-rivals Newcastle.
Colback has earned praise for his first two performances for the Magpies after penning a five-year contract at St James’s Park during the summer.
But Sunderland boss Poyet believes Colback’s maiden call-up is predominantly down to his performances from last season in a Black Cats shirt after coming through the club’s academy system from the age of eight.
Poyet said today: “I think Jack will agree with us that he spent all his career here and he knows how much this football club helped him and built him into the player he is today.
“If he’s in the national team, how much is up to Sunderland and how much up to Newcastle?
“In my opinion it’s 98 per cent to Sunderland and two per cent to Newcastle.
“He’s been there two-and-a-half minutes and he’s in the national team.
“That’s what he’s done as a player here, not from what he’s done in the last month and a half.”
Sunderland supporters were more aggrieved that there was no place in the England squad for Lee Cattermole, than they were over Colback’s inclusion.
But when asked about Cattermole, Poyet said: “I think that’s a question for Roy to answer.
“I don’t know the characteristics of the players he’s looking for.
“But you have to respect the decision of the national team manager.”