Tuesday 13 March 2012
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill says midfielder Jack Colback has the talent to match the best in the Barclays Premier League.
The 22-year-old has started 11 of O'Neill's 18 matches in charge of Sunderland.
He impressed in Saturday's 1-0 League win over Liverpool in a Black Cats side without suspended captain Lee Cattermole and O'Neill admitted he was a fan.
"I have belief for him at the moment - he will get it later on"
- Martin O'Neill
"I have more belief in Jack than he has in himself. He is a really fine player," said the Sunderland boss.
"He needs to believe he can mix it in there with the best in the Premier League because he can.
"You don’t get a better midfielder in the Premier League than Steven Gerrard. I know he [Gerrard] was not on for a long period of Saturday’s game (21 minutes), but Jack just gets on with it.
"He needs either belief in himself or someone believing in him and I have it for him at the moment. He will get it later on.
"I thought he was excellent against Liverpool and he is a great lad, too.
"Some players have great self-belief. Maybe he should listen to (Nicklas) Bendtner! Although, on reflection, perhaps not."
Cattermole is suspended for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final at Everton so Colback is likely to play a part in that match.