JACK Colback says Darren Bent will know what to expect at the Stadium of Light this Saturday – fearful abuse from Sunderland fans after the England striker’s wounding defection to Aston Villa in January.
But the young midfielder insists there will be no animosity towards from inside the Sunderland dressing room.
The 21-year-old, a rising star for the Black Cats this season, said: “I think he will get stick – I think he’ll be expecting it, too.
“Personally, I thought he was great here.
“He was easy to get along with, the players liked him and he did very well for us.
“He was a good football player for the club.
“It was unfortunate how it all panned out and how it ended, but, as a club, I think we’ve moved on since then.
“He’s moved on, we have, and we won’t worry about him.
“Apart from the fact he’s a good player, he won’t get any extra attention, we just want the three points.
“There’s no hard feelings for him moving on from the lads.
“I hope he does well for England, but, with the greatest respect, I hope he’s on the losing team on Saturday.”
Colback enjoyed an excellent game at Bolton last Saturday when he was selected ahead of skipper Lee Cattermole and £5million summer signing Craig Gardner and fully justified his inclusion in the starting line-up.
It was a good performance from the team, rather than just the Tynesider, and Colback is hoping that Sunderland have turned the corner after a testing start to the campaign.
“I think we’ll see the real Sunderland now,” he said.
“The pressure of looking for that win was there, so, now that’s off, hopefully we can play a bit.
“Football is a results business and we knew that the only way to answer the questions was by winning.
“We know we need a bit of a platform and a few points on the board – once that happens we’ll take the shackles off and play with a bit of freedom.
“And I think we will show what we’re all about from now on.”
Colback said the 2-0 victory at the Reebok was a reminder of how fully behind Steve Bruce the side is.
“The Bolton win was for the manager in some ways,” he said. “He’s getting pressure from all over the place which I think is unwelcome and unfair.
“He took us to 10th last year, which people shouldn’t forget.”