Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce made the right call by omitting Jack Colback from his first Magpies team, despite The Shields Gazette claiming the midfielder was surprised to be left out of the 25-man squad.
It is alleged, the Killingworth-born outcast fully expected to be given a shot of redemption at St James’ Park with a change in leadership following Rafa Benitez’s departure, as the Spaniard had frozen Colback out of his plans before palming him off on loan to Nottingham Forest.
Bruce had other ideas, however, and left the £2.7million-rated midfield anchor out of his 25-man squad alongside fellow fringe options Rolando Aarons, Jamie Sterry, Achraf Lazaar and Henri Saivet.
Colback is thought to be heartbroken by Bruce’s pre-season decision, and now faces an uncertain future on Tyneside as he progresses through the final year of his £35,000-a-week Magpies contract.
With the Premier League and Championship transfer windows closed until the New Year, the prospect of reserve team football is firmly now on the cards for the 29-year-old, unless he can secure a move out of England or drops down to the lower divisions, with most European markets remaining open until September.
But Bruce made the right call in omitting Colback from his squad, even if it took the Sunderland product by surprise, as the former England youth international would have been praying for injuries to get a taste of first-team football with Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Ki Sung-Yong and now Matty Longstaff evidently ahead of him in the pecking order.
His loan spell with Nottingham Forest failed to provide a convincing argument as to why he would deserve another crack in the top-flight with us, either, with the defensive midfielder committing two fouls per ninety minutes on average, alongside 0.4 blocked shots, and 1.1 clearances.