John Carver explains the tactical benefit of Newcastle star Jack Colback

Carver is adamant that Newcastle play better when Colback is featuring.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Carver explained why Newcastle play better when Jack Colback is included in the starting XI.

The temporary head coach said: “Getting him back in, with his energy, allows us to get others higher up the pitch and closer to Ayoze Perez.”

Colback has been one of few successes for Newcastle this season, with his free transfer from Sunderland last summer turning him into one of the Magpies key players. His energising midfield play has proven vital in the defensive and ball winning parts of the game, whilst he has also improved his attacking efficiency.

His return of four goals and five assists in 30 games is his best seasonal tally, and he is just one goal from matching his entire strike rate during his spells with Sunderland and Ipswich.

It is his energy in the middle of the park that means the forward players in Newcastle’s team - usually Ayoze Perez - get the support they need, to prevent them from being overrun in the final third and cut off from the midfield unit.

Colback is the only player who provides this energy, with Moussa Sissoko largely out of form this term, and it is no surprise that his goalscoring ability and all round play have improved massively, in a side who need him to be at the top of his game.

There have been few fantastic performers for the Magpies this term, but Colback has been one of them, and it is hard to see past the 25-year-old midfielder winning the player of the year award for his consistent performances at St James’ Park across the entire campaign.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch