Thursday 18 December 2014

Magpies move key for Colback

Published 29/08/2014 | 19:21

Jack Colback will look to show his England credentials against Crystal Palace
Jack Colback will look to show his England credentials against Crystal Palace

Alan Pardew is convinced Jack Colback's move to Newcastle was a key factor in his first England call-up.

The 24-year-old midfielder was a surprise inclusion in Roy Hodgson's squad for next month's friendly against Norway and the Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland just weeks after leaving arch-rivals Sunderland, where he had been since the age of 10.

While insisting the Black Cats deserve much of the credit for his elevation, Pardew believes the way Colback - described by Hodgson as "the Ginger Pirlo" - has negotiated his controversial switch from Wearside to Tyneside will not have gone unnoticed at Soho Square.

The 53-year-old said: "It's great for north-east football, because he did a lot of (the work for) this call-up at Sunderland.

"I think he's ticked a couple of boxes here, though, that are important for an England manager. One, he has moved to a local rival and he has handled it well, and then he has come into our team and played well and that has ticked another box for the England manager.

"When you go to England, you have to show that you have got a personality to deal with all the pressure that comes with playing for England.

"There's the extra media spotlight, the extra spotlight of analysts and the experts in the studio, and I think the move to us underlined the fact that he can deal with that."

There was England recognition too for the Magpies' Jamaican-born midfielder Rolando Aarons, who has been included in the Under-21s squad.

Both men will hope to feature for their club in the Barclays Premier League at home to Crystal Palace before meeting up with their international colleagues.

However, Cheick Tiote and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will be missing once again as they continue their respective recoveries from hamstring and ankle problems.

Meanwhile, Neil Warnock has admitted Crystal Palace will face a transfer-deadline frenzy after he put recruitment plans on hold for Saturday's trip.

The new Eagles boss secured Wilfried Zaha's Selhurst Park return on Thursday on a season-long loan deal from Manchester United.

Warnock set Friday aside for team preparations, leaving just Sunday and Monday for Palace to complete as many as four more deals.

The transfer window shuts at 11pm on Monday, with Palace still keen on Southampton's Jack Cork and Norwich's Gary Hooper.

"I have had 320 messages from agents and they are all brilliant players, all with different agents," said Warnock, who cut off his Cornwall retirement to return to the south London club.

"I doubt we can do anything before the weekend.

"We need to get through the weekend. If we can get three or four players, I think we can hold our own.

"Hopefully by Sunday, Monday night we will have a couple of people to show you. I'm sure it will be chaos, it always is."

Warnock's new side take on Alan Pardew's Newcastle at St James' Park on Saturday, desperate for points and morale.

Warnock, who admitted he was once again unable to commit to retirement, said Palace must close ranks to stand any chance of victory in the north east.

"I've had four retirements but I couldn't resist," he said.

"I don't think we should rest on our laurels.

"It would be easy to be disappointed when someone leaves like they have done, and it's difficult for the players because they have had such a fantastic time.

"And Tony's done a fantastic job, but now we have to regroup and look to the future and do the best we can.

"Yes it might be difficult on Saturday when I've only been here a couple of days, but I still think we can go up there in good spirits and I'm looking forward to it."

Scott Dann remains doubtful for Palace.

The former Blackburn defender is still battling a niggling hip problem, while Zaha could jump straight into action.

Warnock will definitely be without midfielder Joe Ledley, who could still be two weeks from overcoming his groin strain.

Press Association

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