JACK COLBACK insists Sunderland’s threadbare options leave no room for tantrums at being thrust into unfamiliar surroundings.
Colback started at right-back for the first time in his career in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Everton, with the midfielder never even filling in there as a youngster.
Injuries to Phil Bardsley and Wes Brown, coupled with the second of Craig Gardner’s two-match suspension, left Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio with no recognised right-back to call upon.
Di Canio only had 13 senior outfield players to pick from in total after rookie full-back Liam Marrs joined fellow academy youngsters Mikael Mandron and Jordan Laidler on the bench.
And with Sunderland down to the bare bones, Colback, who played the final 40 minutes of the Tyne-Wear derby at right-back, says no-one can afford to be disgruntled at the makeshift measures in the survival battle.
Colback told the Echo: “There’s other players who’ve played out of position and it’s something you have to do and deal with as a player.
“If you’re asked to do it, you’ve got to do your job.
“Playing left-back has helped me get my bearings as a defender and it wasn’t too difficult to switch over.
“But I never even played at right-back as a kid. I used to stay well away from the defence then, I used to be able to score goals as a kid!
“It was an experience, but we won so it’s one I’ll remember.
“(Steven) Pienaar and (Leighton) Baines are a good combination down the left for Everton, they create chances.
“But we worked on that during the week and all knew our jobs and knew what we were doing.
“It seemed to work well.”
Sunderland’s display against Everton was a stark contrast from the previous Stadium of Light outing against Manchester United – the last game of Martin O’Neill’s tenure as Black Cats boss.
Colback attributes that to the injection of self-belief stemming from the derby victory at St James’s Park nine days ago.
And the 23-year-old believes that back-to-back wins have now significantly eased the relegation nerves in the dressing room, ahead of successive encounters against bottom half peers Aston Villa, Stoke and Southampton.
“It was important to get a win against Everton and not slacken off,” added Colback.
“We can go into Villa and Stoke now with a bit less pressure on us, although obviously, we know we need to keep focused.
“If we can get a win next week, then we can maybe relax a bit more.
“The win against Newcastle has just bred confidence throughout the whole club - the players, staff and fans.
“The place was buzzing against Everton and it transmitted onto the pitch. Sessy (Stephane Sessegnon) scored a great goal and we managed to hang on.
“It was another great result for us.”