JACK Colback is confident he can handle the pressure of crossing the Tyne-Wear divide to join Newcastle United.
The midfielder, the first player to leave Sunderland for their fierce rivals in more than two decades, is conscious that the move will prove “controversial” on both Tyneside and Wearside.
However, the 24-year-old, , who scored in Sunderland’s 3-0 Tyne-Wear derby win at St James’s Park last season, says he is just focused on his game.
“It’s obviously going to be a controversial one,” Colback said. “All I can do is concentrate on playing football and improving as a player.”
Only a handful of players have moved directly between the two clubs, the last of which was Robbie Elliott, who made the switch to Sunderland after his release from Newcastle in 2006.
Colback is confident he can deal with everything that will come his way, on and off the pitch, as he starts the next chapter of his footballing career.
“I’m fully aware of the things that come with it, coming from Sunderland, but that’s something I feel I can deal with as a player,” said Colback.
“That wasn’t going to get in the way of the opportunity to come here.”