Jack Colback has revealed he had few reservations over switching the Stadium of Light for St James' Park.
Colback, 25, had been on the books of Sunderland from the age of eight before his first-team debut for the club in 2010, going on to make 135 total appearances over the next four seasons, while recording five goals and seven assists.
The midfielder agreed to a long-term contract at St James’ Park in the summer, however, leaving the Black Cats after his contract expired.
His decision prompted the club to come out with a strong-worded statement upon his departure, declaring: “For him to then leave the club that has supported him throughout his formative years in such a manner, with no chance for Sunderland to recover any of the significant investment that it has made in him as a player, has left a bitter taste."
The first player to move directly between the two sides since Lionel Perez in 1998, Colback can understand the fierce reaction to his switch, but insists that he did make a concerted effort to broker a new deal at the Stadium of Light.
“I was disappointed with the statement from Sunderland,” he said. “Obviously the reaction was never going to be great.
“I think it might have come across that I was being a bit disloyal to them, but we had many conversations and opportunities where something could have been resolved and wasn’t.
“The longer it goes on you hear about interest from other clubs and once it got to that point, and teams like Newcastle came along, it was quite an easy decision.
“The fact the majority of my family are black and white, and I’ve grown up around the area, I know how much it means to the fans,” he continued
“Putting on that shirt and playing at St James’ Park in front of 55,000 fans – it does feel different.”
Colback has since started all but one Premier League game for Newcastle this season, while also earning his first England call-up in August, although he was later forced to withdraw from the squad with a calf problem.