West Ham watch out - the unsung hero behind Newcastle's winning run?

Newcastle Stand

Jack Colback has been superb during Newcastle United's six-game unbeaten streak in all competitions and will face the Hammers on Saturday afternoon.

Ahead of their clash with West Ham United this weekend, there are a number of heroes Newcastle fans can look to when assessing their 'back from the dead' six-game winning run.

The Magpies have won five in a row in the Premier League and added a Capital One Cup win over defending champions Manchester City several weeks ago.

Goal-wise, the St James' Park faithful have had the likes of Ayoze Perez, Moussa Sissoko and more to thank for their remarkable turnaround in fortunes. But one player has been more of an unsung hero - one West Ham must watch out for.

  PositionTeamAccurate PassesInterceptions WonClearancesAppearancesMins Played
Jack Colback MF Newcastle 144 14 6 5 450
Moussa Sissoko MF Newcastle 136 4 3 5 450
Daryl Janmaat DF Newcastle 97 16 16 5 450
Fabricio Coloccini DF Newcastle 91 10 25 4 348

Indeed, as Opta stats show, Jack Colback has made his mark over the last five league games, providing a stable midfield presence and protecting his back four.

No Newcastle midfielder has made more passes, while the 25-year-old has also chipped in with a high tally of 14 interceptions. From a defensive point of view, Colback has made six clearances.

  PositionTeamChances CreatedSuccessful Final-Third PassesTackles WonAppearancesMins Played
Jack Colback MF Newcastle 9 45 4 5 450
Moussa Sissoko MF Newcastle 6 50 4 5 450
Rémy Cabella MF Newcastle 5 44 9 5 220
Ayoze Pérez FW Newcastle 4 22 7 5 334

What is striking about the midfielder's form, however, is that he has also created the most chances of any Magpies player during their brilliant run.

Newcastle have been far from prolific this season but they would have even less to show in the final third without Colback. With nine chances created, he is three ahead of his nearest competitor in that department Sissoko.

In terms of overall passes in the final third, Colback has made 45, while also winning a perhaps less impressive four tackles in five league games.

The contribution of the 'Ginger Pirlo' (if anyone does actually call him that), then, can't be underestimated when it comes to the recent success of Alan Pardew's side. Up next for the Magpies are West Ham - and Colback will no doubt be vital when it comes to stopping the Hammers' midfield.

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