Jack Colback signed on for his home town club as a free agent two years ago last summer and Sunderland were not too happy that after he had joined the Black Cats at the age of 10 he should leave for nothing when he was 24 to join rivals Newcastle United.
And the Wearside club even made an announcement on their web-site about Colback that didn’t show too much class.
Jack hasn’t had too much success playing for Sunderland or Newcastle in a period when both clubs have been badly run and both have been struggling in the Premier League.
Jack Colback in training
But it all came to a head last season when we took the drop after the club had fair warning the season before, after John Carver had led the team through eight successive defeats in the league.
We just survived on the final day of the season by beating West Ham 2-0.
But then we were relegated last season with 37 points and we deserved to go down because the club was so incompetently managed at all levels.
Jack has given a press conference for the game tomorrow at Leeds which promises to be some test for our lads – but we need another win to keep our momentum going.
Jack was very open and honest in what he said in the press conference:
“It is the first time I have experienced the successful side of football, if I’m being blunt.”
“When I signed here, I expected that to change. Now it has and we’re top dogs in the league. I’m enjoying it.”
“It’s our job to perform, and we didn’t and got relegated,” “As a player, I get paid to do this, and, as a player, you do feel ashamed walking around.”
“95% of the area supports the team. It’s not like London, when you can be invisible. It was a really disappointing year, but we are trying to restore pride.”
“It’s a goldfish bowl here – you carry the form of the team everywhere you go,”
“We’re doing our job,” “No disrespect to the league, but we expect to be promoted.”
“If we walk around thinking we have done something yet, we’ll be caught out. “The aim is to get promoted, maybe then I’ll walk around with my chest out.”
“If the team is doing well, the fans are full of praise.” “With Newcastle, the fans turn up every week.”
“Away from home, we can nearly double the attendance, and when you have that following you have to raise standards and live up to the expectations.”
“We’re not doing it in the league we want to be in, but we’re giving a bit back. “Last season, I kind of felt ashamed at how the team were playing and the results.”
“It was the worst-case scenario. “It’s clear to see there’s a positive vibe. Winning games brings that.”
“Once fans got over us being relegated, they just wanted to see us win games and get behind us.”
“It was hard for it to sink in – it probably didn’t until we came back and the fixtures came out.”
“For the players, knowing that Rafa was staying was reassuring.” “He sees this as a club with huge potential that can build.”
“If we can get out of the Championship, the sky’s the limit, really.”
Jack’s right about the sky being the limit now, because Rafa Benitez wants to be a successful manager again and he wants to be successful at sleeping giant Newcastle.
From what we can see Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley (in the background) are fully supporting the Spaniard in everything he wants to do at the club and credit has to go to both men.
As strange as that may seem after the terrible disasters of the past.
But everybody at Newcastle is now pulling in the same direction and after Brighton could only draw 1-1 with Aston Villa last night at home, a win at Leeds United tomorrow in the early game could see us go 5 points clear at the top of the Championship.
We need a win tomorrow – come hell or high water.
Howay The Lads!!