DESPITE the uncertainty surrounding his future, Jack Colback thinks agreeing a new deal would be a lovely end to the season – particularly if they can pull off a memorable treble beforehand.
Talks over a new contract have started but remain difficult to finalise while Sunderland’s Premier League status remains insecure.
Fourteen years later he is not only looking to stay but also help Sunderland stay in the top-flight and reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup next month – and of course lift the Capital One Cup on Sunday.
Colback said: "Talks are on-going. It takes time and with the position we've been in, it's been difficult at times because obviously the team is the focal point and comes to the forefront.
“It's something I've completely put to the back of my mind with the final coming up, I'm concentrating on that.
“But I enjoy playing for the new manager. It’s home here. I am settled, my family are settled, so hopefully we can get something sorted.”
Born in Killingworth, North Tyneside, Colback was surrounded by Newcastle United fans and it must have felt strange for him to cross the Tyne-Wear divide to play his football even during his school days.
But the only thing on his mind nowadays is improving Sunderland and he would love to be the only homegrown academy player to be in Gustavo Poyet’s team that ends a wait for a major honour stretching back to 1973.
He said: "I first went on trial at Middlesbrough and trained there for a while but the travelling was a bit too far and I felt I was a bit too young at the time aged eight or nine.
"I came to Sunderland initially at that age but I thought I was still a bit too young. I came back to Sunderland a second time and felt it was the right time to do so. I'd just turned 11 when I came back.
"As players it's your job, isn't it, to treat the club you play for as your club, it doesn't matter where you're from, it's your job to go out on the pitch and play as well as you can for whoever you play for and that's what I do.”
Colback has never been to Wembley. In fact his childhood memories of watching League Cup and FA Cup finals were all of the finals at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
He is well aware, though, of the significance of ’73 on Wearside and he knows what stunning Manchester City on Sunday with a memorable Capital One Cup triumph would do for the city.
Colback said: "It would be massive if we won a trophy. The fans have got memories for 1973, the number 1973 is everywhere around the academy and the Stadium of Light. We are reminded of it every day.
“At every club there's a pressure of winning something, even at the likes of Man City or Arsenal. Their fans get to watch good football every week, but they're still desperate for a trophy. It's not often an opportunity like this comes along so we'll be absolutely buzzing if we win it.”