Jack Colback

Versatile Colback pushing on

by Stuart Vose

Jack on playing right-back and beating Everton and Newcastle.

Jack Colback says building on the derby win over Newcastle was key as the Black Cats notched a second straight victory last weekend.

Sunderland beat Everton for the first time in 12 years thanks to Stephane Sessegnon’s goal at the Stadium of Light.

Going into the Everton game we knew we had to keep our heads

- Jack Colback

A six-point haul has given the Black Cats a valuable late-season boost with just four matches remaining.

“The win against Newcastle was big for us in terms of where we were in the league, and winning the derby convincingly was great for the fans as well,” said Colback, who is just nine appearances away from 100 for the club.

“But going into the Everton game we knew we had to keep our heads.

“There was no point beating Newcastle and then not following up, but fortunately we managed to do that.”

Having featured as a second-half substitute at St James’ Park, Colback was restored to the starting line-up in an unfamiliar right-back position against Everton.

And the midfielder took to his new assignment with aplomb, working well with Adam Johnson to shut down the Toffees’ dangerous pairing of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar.

“I had an idea I might be playing [at right-back] when we did some shape work during the week, and I got my head round it,” Colback explained.

“The likes of Baines and Pienaar can open teams up but I was pleased with my own performance.

“More importantly, though, we managed to hang on and get the three points.”

The midfielder was at the forefront of Sunderland’s high-pressure game against Everton and says staying tight to opponents is key in the modern top flight.

“We’ve worked on that and I think it’s necessary in the Barclays Premier League,” he explained.

“There’s some fantastic players and if you sit off and give them time and space then they will hurt you.

“Everyone in the team knew their job. We closed down quickly and I don’t think we gave Everton a chance to play.”