Newcastle United’s Colback keen to be a regular in national squad

Jack Colback.
Jack Colback.
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JACK Colback is determined to establish himself in Roy Hodgson’s squad.

Colback has been ruled out of tonight’s friendly against Norway at Wembley because of a minor injury.

But the midfielder could make his senior international debut in Monday night’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland in Basel.

The midfielder, signed from Sunderland in the summer, was called up in the wake of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard’s international retirements.

The 24-year-old is determined to make an impression on England coach Roy Hodgson, who says the Norway match has come too soon for the Killingworth-born player.

Hodgson sad: “Unfortunately, it looks like the game will be a day too early for Jack Colback.”

Colback has admitted that an England call was the last thing on his mind when he signed for his boyhood club.

But Hodgson was impressed with his performances in United’s first two Premier League games, and Colback is hopeful of earning his first senior cap.

“Things are going well - I couldn’t have asked for much more,” Colback said,

“The fans have been great since I came. All I want to do is pay them back with some wins, and the England thing is a massive bonus.

“Obviously, I wasn’t expecting it, but I got the call and I was over the moon.

“He (Newcastle manager Alan Pardew) just pulled us to one side in the morning and said that England had been on the phone to check that I was fit, but he wasn’t sure if I’d be in the squad or not.

“It was obviously a surprise, but it shows that if you’re doing well, you’ve got a chance.

“It’ll be a good experience for me. Hopefully, I can get some game time.”

Hodgson - who also called up Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph - is assessing his midfield options ahead of England’s Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

“Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard retiring has left a massive hole,” said Colback.

“It gives people who maybe weren’t expecting it a chance.

“It would be nice to get some game time and a cap, but I won’t be classing myself as an England international just yet.

“I’ve got a chance to go in there and hopefully impress, and hopefully get in squads in the future. If I can play a few game, maybe I can be called that.”

Colback was in the United side held to a 3-3 draw at St James’s Park by Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Wilfried Zaha claimed a point for the visitors with an equaliser four minutes into add time, and the result left Colback bitterly disappointed.

“It was two points dropped, really,” said Colback.

“We were home against Palace, and no disrespect to them, but we looked at it as a game to win.

“But we conceded two goals at the worst possible times - at the start of the first half and the start of the second half - but we showed character to come back. We couldn’t see it out in the end.”