JACK Colback is determined to prove his value to Newcastle United - after arriving on a free transfer.
The midfielder joined the club from Sunderland in June.
And Colback - who played in last night’s ?-? win over Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium - has quickly adjusted to life at St James’s Park after crossing the Tyne-Wear divide.
The 24-year-old could prove one of the most astute free transfers of the summer.
But Colback isn’t looking beyond the next game.
“I’ll let other people judge that (best free transfer of the summer), but I’ll be doing my best to perform every week, and let’s hope I turn out to be,” Colback said.
“I know in myself I can improve my game. This is the next step in my career, and I have come here to be successful.”
Tynesider Colback has labelled the chance to play for Newcastle, the club he supported as a boy, as a “massive opportunity”.
“I live in Newcastle so most of the people I have seen have been Newcastle fans and they have just wished me all the best,” said the Killingworth-born player.
“The support so far has been brilliant.
“Newcastle is a huge club and it was a massive opportunity for me to come here.
“I have come to play for my hometown club – the club my family has supported and I have supported – and that was the biggest thing.
“It’s a club looking to go places.
“There might be a bit more pressure the fact I’ve come from Sunderland and I’ve got to try to turn the fans’ heads at Newcastle and win them over.
“It’s something I’m relishing.”
Colback was also encouraged by his first meeting with United manager Alan Pardew.
“I met the gaffer, and he was a big factor in me coming here,” he said.
“I was really impressed and excited about what he said and where he wanted to take the club.
“We’ve got to be looking at a minimum top-10 finish, and then push on to get around the Tottenhams and Evertons and be able to compete against the top four or five teams, not just going out looking not to lose.
“The signings the manager has brought in – coupled with the players already here – will give us the chance to do that I think and it’s looking good.”
Colback, a mainstay of the midfield so far in pre-season, is a strong contender to start against Manchester City on August 17.
He added: “I have really enjoyed it. I’ve managed to play a lot of minutes. I feel strong.”