JACK Colback admits there been no escaping Newcastle United’s plight.
He says there’s been no hiding place, no respite from the pressure, even away from the club.
Colback, born and raised on Tyneside, has been acutely aware of the mood of the fans and the midfielder hasn’t known what to say.
Newcastle finally got their first Premier League win of the season last weekend thanks to a goal from Gabriel Obertan against Leicester.
United’s supporters, whatever their frustrations with manager Alan Pardew and club owner Mike Ashley, again got behind their team at St James’s Park.
Pardew himself admitted after the match that he’s found it hard to look fans in the eye during the winless run.
That run is finally over, to the relief of Killingworth-born Colback, signed from Sunderland in the summer on a free transfer.
And the win was timely, with a fixture against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane next up for Newcastle.
“To be fair to the fans, they’ve been brilliant,” Colback said.
“I’m from the area and know the expectations. It’s sometimes hard when you’re going out in everyday life when the team’s not doing well.
“But we’ve got that win, which was massive. We just need to move on now.
“It wasn’t our best performance, but we’ve got the win, and that’s all that matters.”
It doesn’t get any easier for 18th-placed United.
The Tottenham game is followed by a midweek Capital One Cup tie away to holders and league champions Manchester City, and a home game against Liverpool on November 1.
“If we hadn’t won, we’d be going into Tottenham, Man City in the cup and Liverpool without a win,” said Colback.
“They’re tough games. If you don’t get a win there (against Leicester), you could be looking at 10 games without a win.
“It’s a big relief for us. It wasn’t pretty by any means, but we got the job done.”
Colback, one of the team’s most consistent performers so far this season, is adamant that the “commitment” of the team hasn’t been in question.
But confidence, not surprisingly, has been a problem.
And with a weight having been taken from the collective shoulders of the players, the 24-year-old is hopeful the team can finally start to express itself on the field.
“We’ll be training hard again,” said Colback, whose club form earned him an England call-up last month.
“We’ve been really committed to putting this right. It’s not nice to be around a club like this when it’s not doing well – it can be tough – but we managed to get a win.
“It’s a huge weight off everyone’s shoulders. We’ll be taking confidence from that, because that’s where you get confidence from, winning games.
“It had been too long.”