JACK Colback reckons the current international break has come at the perfect time for Sunderland as they look to put an indifferent start to the season behind them.
The Black Cats have taken just six points from their first seven games and are hovering above the relegation zone – even though it remains very early in the season.
But a morale-sapping defeat to rivals Newcastle coupled with a Carling Cup exit to Brighton and disappointing displays against newly-promoted sides Swansea City and Norwich City has put unexpected pressure on players and manager and the young midfielder believes the fortnight’s break will take some of the heat out of the situation.
“It’s been a disappointing start for us as a team – it’s not gone how we wanted it to so far,” acknowledged the 21-year-old (pictured). “So the international break has come at a good time for us.
“It gives us a chance to draw breath and take stock before we go to Arsenal on Sunday.
“After beating Stoke 4-0, everyone hoped that would be the turning point and we would go on from there but it hasn’t happened that way.
“We went to Norwich and lost, and then had to come from 2-0 down to get a draw against West Brom. We felt we were more than capable of getting six points from those two games but we only managed one, so of course that is disappointing.
“But that’s the way it goes in football sometimes – it’s not always rosy, and the pressure comes on you very quickly.
“Hopefully though, when the players come back from the break, it will give us a chance to start afresh.
“And I think the break gives everyone a chance to recharge their batteries and get ready to go again.”
Bruce brought in 11 new players over the summer, while influential players like Jordan Henderson, Bolo Zenden and Anton Ferdinand left.
Colback says it was always going to take time for the hugely revamped squad to gel but he is confident there are signs that things are starting to come together and that Sunderland can repeat last season’s top 10 finish.
“I think we all hoped that we’d have a few more points on the board by this stage,” he said. “But there were big changes made to the squad over the summer, so it’s probably no surprise that we’ve needed some time to gel.
“Once we do settle down, though, I think we’ll soon start moving back up the table. I believe it is only a matter of time before things start clicking for us on the pitch.
“I think we’ve seen a bit of that already with the way that Nicklas Bendtner and Stephane Sessegnon are beginning to develop a partnership.
“We’re only seven games into the season, so there is still plenty of time for us to turn things round.
“With the lads we’ve got here, I’m sure we can push on and finish in the top 10 once again.”