GUS POYET claims Sunderland deserve almost all the credit for Jack Colback’s maiden call up into the England squad.
Colback earned his first selection for full international honours yesterday when Roy Hodgson included him in the squad for next week’s friendly with Norway and the following week’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Switzerland.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was quick to attribute Colback’s rise to senior international honours to his summer move to St James’ Park, claiming the switch had played a major role in Hodgson’s decision.
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However, Poyet dismissed suggestions that Newcastle had played a crucial role in the 24-year-old’s development and claimed Sunderland were almost exclusively responsible for taking him to the verge of full international honours.
“Jack will agree he’s played all his career here and he knows how much we helped him develop into the player he is today,” said Poyet.
“He’s in the national team, how much is it up to us? I’d say 98 per cent for us and two per cent for them (Newcastle). He’s been there two and half minutes, and now he’s an England player.”
Poyet refused to comment on specific transfer targets at his pre-match press conference this afternoon, but admitted Sunderland were close to making a breakthrough ahead of tomorrow’s game at QPR.
Ricardo Alvarez is expected to travel to the North-East tomorrow to complete a season-long loan from Inter Milan, and Poyet remains determined to land another defender before the transfer window closes on Monday night.
Sebastien Coates, Virgil van Dijk and Vedran Corluka all remain potential targets as the deadline draws near.
“In the last week or ten days we’ve been very close to things, but they didn’t happen,” said Poyet. “You can use the word happy, but it’s not good enough if we don’t add to the squad.
“It’s about having the right squad to go from here to January – that’s the key. We’re working on it, and we’re also ready for any unexpected offers. They’re more difficult to deal with, but you can’t control the market.
“There have been too many names and too many things said in the press. I don’t want to lose any more targets, so I prefer not to mention names.”