WHILE many footballers would welcome a bit of warm weather training at this time of year, Jack Colback believes Sunderland’s two-week break has come at a bad time.

The Black Cats flew to the Middle East on Monday, where they will spend the next few days training in Dubai before heading back to Wearside at the weekend.

Sunderland are without a fixture until February 23, when they travel to West Brom.

Loading article content

A resurgence saw the Black Cats record five wins in ten games, but their assault on the Premier League’s top ten has been halted after a draw and two defeats, including a home loss to Arsenal on Saturday.

A fortnight of training will have its benefits, but Colback admits he would prefer an opportunity to put recent results right.

“To be honest I think it’s come at a bad time,” the midfielder- turned-left-back said.

“On the back of two defeats you don’t really want to have a break, you want to go on to the next game and try to get a few points.

“In that sense, it’s a bit of a bad time, but it does give us chance to take a step back and assess. It also gives the new lads a bit more time to settle in, but they’ve done that quickly anyway.

“We got a couple of wins in a row and got up to 11th and within touching distance of the teams above us.

“It was disappointing that we haven’t been able to get a win since then to take us in to the top ten.

“But the performances have been good, so it’s onwards and upwards.”

The arrival of Danny Graham, Alfred N’Diaye and Kader Mangane last month has added some much-needed depth to a squad, which has had to deal with injuries to Lee Cattermole, Carlos Cuellar, Danny Rose, Wes Brown and Phil Bardsley.

Colback admits new faces in the dressing room has given the squad a lift and believes the side is now better equipped in their quest for a top-ten finish.

He said: “The few players he’s [Martin O’Neill] brought in are all high-quality players, who add to the squad and to the competition.

“It can only be good that we’ve got that because with injuries you need players who can come in and play. We’ve got that now so hopefully we can get a few wins after the break and start looking up rather than down.

“It’s good for the club to see players come in, it gives the players a lift and more importantly it gives the fans a lift.

It’s good for them to see fresh faces. They’re good signings.

“I think the top half is certainly in our reach. We’ve shown in a couple of games recently that you can sharp move up the table with a couple of wins, it’s very tight. But by the same token you can quickly move downwards.

“We’re certainly looking to move up as quickly as we can.”