Ahead of the biggest game of his career, Jack Colback has reiterated his desire to sign a long-term contract with Sunderland.
Negotiations so far on the homegrown midfielder have been tortuous, with Colback’s representatives having turned down offers in the summer and a renewed proposal recently.
The Journal understands that the club intend to make further representations to the player but the interest of Everton and a clutch of other Premier League clubs complicates matters and emphasizes that they cannot take the Academy graduate’s continued loyalty entirely for granted.
It helps that the 23-year-old is not agitating for a move away and he re-affired his desire to secure a long-term contract yesterday.
“I enjoy playing under the new manager and I’m at home here. My family are at home here and hopefully we can get something sorted,” he said. One of the key sticking points in the summer was then-manager Paolo Di Canio’s intention to use the flame-haired Tynesider as a left-back – something that Colback was uneasy about over the long-term.
Although prepared to fill in there for the last couple of campaigns there was a desire to be used in the midfield role that he feels more comfortable in, and Poyet’s determination to use him mainly as a creative player has strengthened his desire to stay at the Stadium of Light. Despite the recent contract rejections, Colback remains absolutely committed to the club.
He said: “Talks are ongoing. It takes time and with the position we’ve been in, it’s been difficult at times because obviously the team is the focal point and comes to the forefront. It’s something I’ve completely put to the back of my mind with the final coming up i’m concentrating on that.”
He can be assured that if he does stay at the Stadium of Light, there will be a challenge issued to him to start hitting the back of the net on a more regular basis.
His cool finish at St James’ Park in the Tyne-Wear derby was an example of his clinical touch in front of goal.
“I’ve always said I need to score more and do more with my game,” he said.
“I always had quite a good record in the youth team and reserves but it’s a different ball game in the Premier League.
“It’s hard to get a rhythm when you’re moving around the team but the gaffer’s given me a run in midfield and with the way we play it means I can get more advanced.”