Nottingham Forest midfielder reveals what he 'loved' about Newcastle United and St James's Park

It has been over six years since Jack Colback last played in the Premier League.

Friday, 5th August 2022, 12:00 am
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 3:00 pm

A 5-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur with Newcastle United at St James's Park back in May 2016 was Colback’s most recent top flight outing as The Magpies were relegated to the Championship.

The midfielder helped United secure an immediate return by winning the second division before joining Nottingham Forest on an initial loan deal which was later made permanent.

And this Saturday, the 32-year-old returns to St James’s Park as a Premier League player with the newly-promoted Forest side. It will be the club’s first game back in the Premier League since 1999.

Jack Colback of Nottingham Forest during the Pre-Season Friendly between Barnsley and Nottingham Forest at Oakwell Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Barnsley, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Colback made over 100 appearances for Newcastle in all competitions after arriving from bitter rivals Sunderland on a free transfer back in 2014.

But he insists he is treating the game just like any other having not even seen the fixture when it was initially announced.

“To be fair I hadn't seen [the fixtures],” he admitted. “I was getting a few texts off friends and family saying 'have you seen the first game?'

“I enjoyed my time [at Newcastle], we obviously had two seasons in the Premier League, relegated the second season which was difficult but we bounced straight back and got promoted.

Newcastle player Jack Colback in action during the EFL Cup Round Two match between Newcastle United and Cheltenham Town at St. James Park on August 23, 2016 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

"Even the season in the Championship the fans were unbelievable to be fair, we were selling out stadiums, taking five, six thousand away from home and that's what it's like up there, they live and breathe football.”

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Colback’s time at Newcastle came to an unfortunate end as he was left out of the team photo by Rafa Benitez following the club’s promotion back to the Premier League and was subsequently loaned to Forest for the next two seasons before being released in 2020.

“Obviously the way it ended for me [at Newcastle] wasn't how I would have liked to have left but that's football, you get on with it,” he added.

"In terms of it being the first game, it's just another game. I've had people text me, expecting me to be buzzing for the game but it's just another game.”

St James’s Park will be a sell out this Saturday (3pm kick-off) as Eddie Howe’s side look to build on the momentum from the second half of last season.

The Magpies have only lost once at home (to Liverpool) in the Premier League so far in 2022.

“I loved playing [at St James's Park], even when I was at Sunderland before that I loved playing there,” Colback continued.

"The stadium is amazing, it almost takes your breath away a bit. For them now, they're in a good space and the fans deserve a bit of success because the time I was there, they were great.

"The atmosphere will be top and we've got to deal with that first game of the season but it's just another game.

“We've got to go into games and not fear teams, we're against some of the best players in the world but we've got to go in and do the city proud again.”