Jack of all trades Colback wants to be Sunderland midfield star

GREAT GAME: Jack Colback gets past Yohan Cabaye
GREAT GAME: Jack Colback gets past Yohan Cabaye

JACK COLBACK wants to bring down the curtain on his stint as a makeshift left-back by re-establishing himself in the middle of the park.

Colback started in central midfield for the first time since February in Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby and rewarded Gus Poyet’s faith by shining in the 2-1 triumph over the Magpies.

Poyet’s predecessor Paolo Di Canio had decided to permanently re-brand Colback as a left-back after the academy product filled in there sporadically during Martin O’Neill’s tenure.

But while Colback was content to appear in defence, the 24-year-old remained eager to return to his boyhood position of midfield.

Following his appointment, new head coach Poyet immediately told Colback that he considered him a midfielder and that was music to the ears of the Tynesider, who hopes his days at full-back are behind him.

Colback told SportMail: “Midfield is my position.

“A lot of people have asked me where is my position and it’s obvious I’m not a left-back.

“I filled in there, but I’ve never been a left-back.

“I’m a midfielder and that’s where I want to be, so hopefully I can get a run in the team there.

“The manager didn’t even have to ask. He said he knew I wasn’t a left-back, although I don’t know whether that was a compliment or not!

“But he said I’m going to be playing midfield and now it’s up to me to show I’m good enough in training and in games.”

Colback’s contribution in the derby helped Sunderland to back-to-back victories over the Magpies for the first time in 46 years.

But he believes the three points were more important for the Black Cats than the bragging rights, as Poyet’s side ended their two-month wait for a first Premier League victory of the campaign.

“It’s nice to win a game for a change,” said Colback.

“But we know we’ve still got a lot to do because the situation isn’t good enough.

“Winning the derby is massive for us though.

“Obviously it’s great for the fans to get a win over Newcastle, but more importantly, with the position we’re in, we needed that win.

“Hopefully we can start moving up the table now.

“It’s not been good enough over recent weeks. Everyone is honest enough to admit that.

“One point from eight games is not good enough, but we knew how much it meant on Sunday to the fans.

“And as much as we wanted the win for them, the three points were just as important.”

If Sunderland are to build on their derby boost, they will need to get the better of ex-Black Cats boss Steve Bruce on Saturday.

Bruce, who handed Colback his full Premier League debut at Sunderland, has enjoyed a solid start to the season at Hull, with the Tigers taking 11 points from their last nine games, albeit they have suffered two successive top flight defeats.

“As soon as we got back into training today, we started focusing on Hull,” added Colback. “Bruce did a good job here, although it was obviously difficult circumstances when he left.

“Hull are a solid team and they don’t concede many.

“But it’s a game that we’ll be going into with a lot of confidence and hopefully we can get another three points.”