Pardew backs Colback to shine against Sunderland

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has backed Jack Colback to shine when he faces his former club in the Tyne-Wear derby.

The midfielder departed Sunderland for fierce rivals Newcastle during the close-season, and has started all but one of the club's Premier League fixtures since arriving at St James' Park.

The two sides meet at Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday, and Pardew believes Colback can play an important role.

"Jack Colback's been fantastic since he's been here," he said. "His conduct has been impeccable and I'm looking forward to seeing him play.

"It's a great occasion and the best players respond to that. It's the sort of atmosphere you want to play in. We're looking forward to it.

"I hope we can put on a show which is fitting of the occasion, that the best team wins and the fans conduct themselves with class.

"We're in a great position in the league and if we win we take ourselves right in amongst the top six again."