Jack Colback reflects on Newcastle’s derby comeback – and playing against his old club

Jack Colback
Jack Colback
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Jack Colback felt Newcastle United made their point against Sunderland.

The club fought out a 1-1 draw with their derby and relegation rivals at St James’s Park on Sunday.

It’s a massive point in the end. You’re hoping to get the win, but once you go 1-0 down, to get a point is a good result in the end.

Jack Colback

A late goal from Aleksandar Mitrovic saw Rafa Benitez’s side avoid what would have been a disastrous seventh successive defeat to Sunderland.

Colback, banned for the club’s next two games after being shown his 10th yellow card of the season against his old club, feels the point could prove “massive”.

“It’s a massive point in the end,” said the derby veteran.

“You’re hoping to get the win, but once you go 1-0 down, to get a point is a good result in the end.

“I think it was cagey. Neither side wanted to give anything away or lose the game knowing how important it was. Once we went 1-0 down we had to react and show character.

“We did that and managed to get the equaliser.”

Colback – who once scored for Sunderland at St James’s Park – was booed by the travelling fans.

Asked about playing against his old club, the Killingworth-born player said: “Being from the area, I realise how big the game is.

“You kind of get texts off friends beforehand praying we don’t lose and praying that we get a win.

“It’s a great game to play in. We haven’t had too much joy in it, but we’ll take a point.”

United manager Rafa Benitez revealed after the match that he hadn’t got angry with his players at the break, when they trailed to a Jermain Defoe goal.

And Colback said: “He just said we had to be positive and keep going.

“Everybody knows our biggest weakness this season is going behind and struggling to get back into games, but we’ve done that.

“Obviously, we’re not happy with a point by any means.

“But when you go 1-0 down, you’re satisfied at the end to get a draw.”

On Mitrovic’s dramatic headed goal, he added: “That’s probably his biggest strength – his aerial ability.

“It was a great header – it was a great player by Gini (Wijnaldum) to get it in there – and I think we deserved it.”