Sunderland Echo - - Sport - By Miles Star­forth­[email protected] @mi­lesstar­forth

For­mer Sun­der­land mid­fielder Jack Colback ad­mits that he is fac­ing a ‘bleak’ fu­ture un­der Rafa Benitez at New­cas­tle.

The 29-year-old made the move from the Sta­dium of Light to Ty­ne­side in 2014 af­ter his con­tract at Sun­der­land ex­pired, and has gone on to make over 100 ap­pear­ances for the Mag­pies.

He ini­tially looked to have a bright fu­ture in the game, hav­ing im­pressed for the Black Cats af­ter pro­gress­ing through their academy sys­tem.

Colback burst onto the scene in 2011 and racked up 135 ap­pear­ances for Sun­der­land be­fore mak­ing the switch to New­cas­tle af­ter some promis­ing per­for­mances.

But since his cur­rent em­ploy­ers were pro­moted back to the Premier League in 2017, the Killing­worth na­tive has found his chances lim­ited and has be­come sur­plus to re­quire­ments un­der Benitez.

In­deed, the mid­fielder was shipped out on loan to Cham­pi­onship side Not­ting­ham For­est in the sum­mer with his con­tract at St James’s Park set to ex­pire at the end of the cam­paign. He said: “My sit­u­a­tion at New­cas­tle looks pretty bleak. “With Rafa, that’s one of those things. “I’m not too fussed about that, but it was dis­ap­point­ing with the way it ended, with New­cas­tle be­ing my home town club. But that’s foot­ball.

“Ob­vi­ously, the aim is to get For­est pro­moted. Then we’ll see.

“If the man­ager (Benitez) comes call­ing and wants to take me back there, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but we’re a long way off that just yet. We’ll keep calm for now.”

Pro­mo­tion to the Premier League with For­est re­mains Colback’s pri­mary aim in the short-term, and he hasn’t ruled out a longer stay with the Tricky Trees if of­fered the op­por­tu­nity.

“It’s one of those things,” Colback said. “Foot­ball can change quickly – we’ll see what hap­pens.

“But my aim is to win pro­mo­tion, and, yes, I would love to play here in the Premier League. I would be happy if it did turn out that way – if I did end up play­ing in the Premier League with For­est.”

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