Former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback admits that he is facing a 'bleak' future under Rafa Benitez at Newcastle.
The 29-year-old made the move from the Stadium of Light to Tyneside in 2014 after his contract at Sunderland expired, and has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the Magpies.
He initially looked to have a bright future in the game, having impressed for the Black Cats after progressing through their academy system.
Colback burst onto the scene in 2011 and racked up 135 appearances for Sunderland before making the switch to Newcastle after some promising performances.
But since his current employers were promoted back to the Premier League in 2017, the Killingworth native has found his chances limited and has become surplus to requirements under Benitez.
Indeed, the midfielder was shipped out on loan to Championship side Nottingham Forest in the summer with his contract at St James's Park set to expire at the end of the campaign.
And, in an interview with the Nottingham Post, Colback admitted that his long-term future in the North East looks 'bleak'.
He said: “My situation at Newcastle looks pretty bleak.
"With Rafa, that's one of those things.
“I'm not too fussed about that, but it was disappointing with the way it ended, with Newcastle being my home town club. But that's football.
“Obviously, the aim is to get Forest promoted. Then we'll see.
“If the manager (Benitez) comes calling and wants to take me back there, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, but we're a long way off that just yet. We'll keep calm for now."
Promotion to the Premier League with Forest remains Colback's primary aim in the short-term, and he hasn't ruled out a longer stay with the Tricky Trees if offered the opportunity.
Asked if he saw his long-term future being at the City Ground, Colback said: “It just depends. That's something that can quickly be taken out of your hands. “It's one of those things. Football can change quickly – we'll see what happens. “But my aim is to win promotion, and, yes, I would love to play here in the Premier League. “I would be happy if it did turn out that way – if I did end up playing in the Premier League with Forest."