Colback fights for Newcastle return - but faces tightrope walk ahead of Sunderland derby date

Jack Colback loses out to Southampton's Sadio Mane earlier this season
Jack Colback loses out to Southampton's Sadio Mane earlier this season
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Jack Colback is pushing hard to be fit for Newcastle United’s must-win game against Norwich City – but he will walk a disciplinary tightrope if he returns to action.

The midfielder missed last weekend’s 6-1 defeat to Manchester City with a hamstring problem.

And Steve McClaren is hopeful that Colback will be available for the home match against Norwich next Sunday, October 18.

Struggling Newcastle, without a win in eight games, are bottom of the Premier League table.

United head coach McClaren fielded Yoan Gouffran as a defensive midfielder in the 6-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium with Cheick Tiote having been short of fitness after his recent lay-off.

Colback – who suffered the injury in the 2-2 draw against Chelsea last month – must stay out of the referee’s notebook if he does play against Norwich.

The 25-year-old is a booking away from a one-game ban, having been shown four yellow cards already this season.

And he would miss the Wear-Tyne derby against former club Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on october 25 with a booking against Norwich.

Meanwhile, McClaren felt Tiote, back from a knee problem, wasn’t fit enough to start against City in Colback’s absence.

But Tiote – who was not called up by the Ivory Coast – will have the benefit of a fortnight’s training by the time the Premier League resumes after the international break.

McClaren will be without defender Kevin Mbabu for game against Norwich.

Mbabu, used as a makeshift left-back by McClaren with Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara unavailable through injury, limped out of the City game with a hamstring problem.

But defender Daryl Janmaat, forced to withdraw from the Holland squad with a knee problem, will be fit.

And Dummett, yet to make an appearance this season, is back in training and could go straight into the starting XI against Norwich.

The 24-year-old missed the club’s entire pre-season with his injury, which dates back to May.

But Dummett has come through a rigorous rehabilitation and fitness programme at the club’s Benton training ground, while Haidara could also be available.

Haidara has sat out the last three games because of a knee problem.