JACK COLBACK insists he is happy to fulfil Paolo Di Canio’s attacking brief for Sunderland’s full-backs this season.
Midfielder Colback will continue at left-back for Sunderland’s trip to Southampton tomorrow, as the only option available to Di Canio.
Sunderland have been frustrated in their attempts to land a specialist left-back this summer, with moves for Benjamin Mendy and Lucas Orban both falling through.
The Black Cats continue to be linked with Juventus’s Paolo De Ceglie and Toulouse’s Cheikh M’Bengue, yet Di Canio is eager to land a creative midfielder before the club shells out on a left-back.
Colback was forced to deputise at left-back last season when on-loan Spurs man Danny Rose was unavailable.
But the 23-year-old says he is happy to be Di Canio’s first-choice left-back, given the Sunderland head coach’s eagerness to see his full-backs get forward.
Colback told the Echo: “The manager has just said that it’s a role that’s important for the team.
“He wants the full-backs to push on when they can and I enjoy playing there.
“I feel comfortable playing there now.
“I’ve done it enough times and the way we play, is a lot easier.
“You get more options on the ball with the movement of the team, so I’m happy.
“The manager wants people to have that free role to get forwards and that attacking mentality.
“It’s how football should be played, so it’s been enjoyable playing that way so far.”
Colback was unable to help Sunderland to a winning start to the season last weekend after they were hit by a smash-and-grab raid by Fulham at the Stadium of Light.
In contrast, Southampton enjoyed a dramatic Premier League curtain-raiser after Rickie Lambert’s last-minute penalty earned the Saints three points at West Brom.
But Sunderland secured a 1-0 victory at St Mary’s last season and Colback insists the Black Cats can repeat that result tomorrow after displaying encouraging signs against Fulham.
“Southampton will be buoyant,” added Colback, reluctant to discuss his contract situation at the Stadium of Light after rejecting Sunderland’s offer of a new deal during the summer.
“Every game in the league is tough, but we’ll focus on them.
“We went there last year and got a good result, so we’ll be looking to do that again.
“Fulham was the first game and, as much as you want to start off with a good result, it’s so early in the season.
“I think we showed positive signs in the game and we’re certainly looking forward to the next one.
“We want to get points on the board and get the ball rolling.”