Colback role praised by manager

JACK Colback, who Ipswich Town could have bought for around �1million at the start of the month, has now earned himself a secure place in the Sunderland squad.

The 21-year-old midfielder has played his way into back into manager Steve Bruce’s plans at the Stadium of Light and he is to kept in the north east to the end of the season – at least.

“I’ll be honest and say that at one stage I was wondering whether or not Jack would make it at Sunderland with the progress the club was making up the table and the standards we’re beginning to set,” said Bruce.

“But certainly he’s looked good since coming back from his second loan spell Ipswich and he deserves his place.

“He’s done enough to convince me he can play a part in our season and that’s why he won’t be leaving in the window.

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“I thought he was excellent at Blackpool, coming on as a substitute for Phil Bardsley at left-back for the last half an hour and he didn’t put a foot wrong.

“It was a great little cameo for us because defensively he was strong and he looked to get forward too, when he could.

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“But it is not just about the Blackpool game – he’s been doing it in training as well. He has filled out and grown stronger and he’s been in the squad by merit.

“With all the injuries we have at the moment too, it’s good for me that I have him to call on.”

With injuries to David Meyler, Lee Cattermole, Fraizer Campbell and Danny Welbeck restricting Sunderland’s options further up the field, Colback could either come into midfield or – with Kieran Richardson being used in a more attacking role, given the current injury crisis – he could also come in handy as another left-back to turn to.

“We haven’t got the biggest of squads, so it’s a great help to a manager when you’ve got players like Jack who can play in several positions. But he deserves to be part of things,” said Bruce.

This will be music to the ears of Colback, who was hoping to have his future resolved this month after several lengthy loan spells.

He said: “I did want to have clearer idea of where I was heading in my career but knowing I’ve got a chance at Sunderland is great and you don’t mind a bit of uncertainty if you’ve got a chance here. I’ve always loved it at Sunderland.

“If I didn’t think I was going to be a part of things I would look to move on because it’s important to know where you’re going and to have a plan.

“But to be involved in Premier League games for Sunderland was always what I was after from the start and as long as I’m involved in the squads, I couldn’t be happier.”

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