Alan Pardew

By Tom Easterby


Alan Pardew has spoken of his delight at midfielder Jack Colback's first England call-up.

The 24-year-old, who signed for United in the summer, shone in pre-season before making an impressive start to his competitive Magpies career, looking comfortable and assured in their first two Premier League fixtures against Manchester City and Aston Villa.

Newcastle boss Pardew was the first to congratulate the local-born midfielder and always believed a first call-up could be in the pipeline, as he recalled the negotiations behind Colback's move to St. James' Park.

"When we spoke to him, I said to him 'you should set your sights on the England team because from what I've seen of you and the profile you're going to have here, it's going to give you a massive chance of that'," revealed Pardew.

"It's come a lot sooner than I thought but he's played very well this pre-season, so the timing of it is good for him because he's ready.

"The extra profile you have as an England squad member makes you grow as an individual, for sure. But on the playing side it gives you a confidence that your peers and the manager of England selects you, and that comes with a certain assurance in your own ability.

"I think he's a terrific player. I think the last time we won a World Cup we had a ginger in Alan Ball and now we've got another one. It's about time."

Colback's arrival in July raised a few eyebrows as he swapped Wearside for Tyneside, but Pardew insists the decision to recruit from closer to home is now paying dividends for both the Club and his new international.

"Obviously this year we took Jack from British football and sometimes we focus our transfers on the continent, but we've proven that if the players are good enough and we can manage to do the right deal, then they're important players for us," he said.

"And we're very, very fortunate to have him. I'm looking forward to seeing him. I hope he gets a chance to get some part of the game.

"It's a little bit sooner than I expected but it's great for him and his family and it's great for this area, because it's important that we have players from the North-East in the England team."