Malcolm Macdonald: Jack Colback should play in midfield for Newcastle United against Sunderland

Newcastle United will face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the Tyne–Wear derby today.

Malcolm Macdonald has suggested in The Chronicle that Jack Colback should be deployed in midfield and not in defence for Newcastle United against Sunderland today.

Colback is a hugely versatile player who can function in three different positions: defensive midfield, attacking midfield and left-back.

The 25-year-old is likely to be part of John Carver’s backline in the Tyne–Wear derby today, but former Newcastle forward Macdonald wants the ex-Sunderland man to be deployed as an anchorman in midfield.

“Being a utility player is also a problem,” the 65-year-old wrote in The Chronicle on Saturday. “Colback can play the anchor in midfield, operate as more of an attacking player or fill in at left-back, which will probably be his role tomorrow…

“I wish Colback was in midfield tomorrow because I think that is where the match will be decided. Lee Cattermole is back for Sunderland and he’ll be hunting for the first tackle to establish superiority.”

Colback has established himself as one of the better and more consistent players in the current Newcastle set-up.

The former Sunderland midfielder has scored three goals and created three chances in 27 Premier League appearances so far this season, while having a pass accuracy of 89% and a shot accuracy of 41%.

The 25-year-old has won 10 of the 22 dribbles he has attempted and 49 of the 110 tackles he has made.

Colback has looked solid at left-back, but perhaps with the return to full fitness of Mehdi Abeid, Carver can afford to play the Englishman in defence.

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