JACK Colback admits it came as a surprise to Sunderland’s squad when Stephane Sessegnon departed for West Brom on the final day of the transfer window.
But the Sunderland defender says that modern-day footballers get used to how quickly things change in football.
And he says that tomorrow’s game at The Hawthorns will be solely about trying to get three points for the Black Cats rather than personal sideshows.
The Benin international set to make his first bow for the Baggies after finally getting his work permit renewed this week.
And for Sunderland fans who make the trip south, it will be odd to see their former hero in an Albion strip after three seasons on Wearside.
“It’s one of them that happens and you get on with it,” Colback told the Echo. “Players leave all the time who for one reason or another you don’t think would have.
“But he’s gone on to West Brom and we wish him all the best there.
“He was a really good player for us, and a tricky one, and one that we will be looking to keep quiet this weekend.”
Sessegnon was a talismanic figure for Sunderland on occasions, as Colback is quick to admit, but the Tynesider points out that the Black Cats have match-winners of their own and none more so than striker Steven Fletcher, who is on the comeback trail after a six-month absence with an ankle injury.
“Having back a player of Steven Fletcher’s quality is great,” he said.
“He’s a miss when he’s not there and he’s the type of player who is going to get you goals if he plays regularly.
“He showed that against Palace when the goal he scored was brilliant and you know that when he’s playing, you’ve got a chance.
“You might not see much of him in a game and he might not see much of the ball.
“But you know that if you can put the ball in the right place at the right time, nine times out of 10 he’s going to put it away.”
Tomorrow, Colback, Fletcher and the rest of the Sunderland team will run out in the West Midlands in search of Sunderland’s first win in what has been a frustrating start to the season.
But the Tynesider says that the squad are working hard to find winning combination and, in the meantime, are grateful for the understanding and backing of the fans.
“It’s going to take time to get everyone to gel together and play exactly as we want, but the fans have stayed with us,” said the 23-year-old, who is set to continue in a left-back role tomorrow.
“And there’s nothing better than when the fans are behind you and you can hear them all game.
“It gets you going.
“Any supporters, up and down the country, if they’re not happy they’ll vent their frustration and ours are no different – if you can’t deal with that you’re in the wrong game.
“But our fans have given us great support and hopefully we can give them something to cheer soon.”