Passion play is key to Sunderland’s safety – Colback

Jack Colback.

Jack Colback.

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JACK COLBACK believes Sunderland will “comfortably” beat the drop if they reproduce their Capital One Cup final performance in the relegation run-in.

The Black Cats will have gone three weeks between Premier League games when they resume their fight for survival against fellow strugglers Crystal Palace in 11 days time.

But the self belief in the Sunderland camp received a major shot in the arm on Sunday when they pushed title-chasing Manchester City to the limits at Wembley.

And midfielder Colback says the Black Cats need to take that performance into the relegation battle, with Gus Poyet’s side remaining one point adrift of safety after the weekend’s Premier League results.

“If we apply ourselves like we did in the final, then the wins will come naturally,” said Colback.

“That’s what we’ve got to look to do because we’re still in a bad position in the league.

“If we have the same hunger and passion, then we should win the games comfortably.

“It’s strange to play a cup final with 12 games to go in the league still.

“We’ve got the FA Cup again on Sunday and then we’ve got to look to the league to win the games needed to keep us in the division.”

The 3-1 defeat against Man City was Colback’s first appearance at Wembley, yet the 24-year-old could be heading there again with Sunderland next month if Poyet’s men can emerge victorious from Sunday’s FA Cup quarter final at Hull.

“If we win our next game, we’ll be going back to Wembley in the semi-finals and that’s what we’ve got to aim to do,” added the 24-year-old.

“It was a fantastic experience; great to be honest. It’s just disappointing that we couldn’t win.

“It was different to any other game I’ve ever played.

“Just coming out for the warm-up, the atmosphere was brilliant.

“The fans were absolutely outstanding and we were just sorry that we couldn’t bring the cup home.

“Even at 3-1 down, they were still singing their hearts out.

“Coming into the stadium, you couldn’t see one Man City fan, but there was thousands and thousands of Sunderland fans.

“It gave the lads a lot of inspiration. We were just disappointed that we couldn’t repay that with a win.”