Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has hit back at Jack Colback’s claims that he was treated with a lack of respect by the club, after being told that he was surplus to requirements in the summer.
After being told by Benitez that he had no future with the club, Colback was frozen out of the first-team set up and forced to train with Newcastle’s U23 side.
Colback- despite having a number of offers in August- didn’t end up leaving the Magpies in the summer and was not reintegrated into first-team training, failing to make a single appearance for the club this season.
Last weekend, Colback made his debut for Nottingham Forest after signing a temporary loan deal with the club until the end of the season. The match ended in a 2-0 defeat against Fulham, where Colback’s Newcastle teammate Aleksandr Mitrovic was also making his debut, but for the opposing team.
FULL TIME Newcastle United 1-0 Manchester United— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) February 11, 2018
Matt Ritchie's first goal of the season gives Rafa Benítez's side a deserved victory and a precious three points at St. James' Park!!!
Reaction to come at https://t.co/iDkcawZlBb. #NUFC pic.twitter.com/K7woI7DTow
In his post-match interview, Colback revealed his views on how he was treated at Newcastle in his period of limbo.
Reported by Chronicle Live, Colback said: “It’s been difficult. I think there’s ways that things can be managed, and to be honest there’s been no respect whatsoever shown my way, but that’s the game I suppose.
“I’m not sure [why I wasn’t given respect], I’m not the one who should be answering that - you’ll have to ask the boss back home.
Mo Diame has gone from being a Poundland Jack Colback to prime Patrick Vieira and I must say I'm a huge fan of that.— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) February 11, 2018
“I think the disappointing thing is the way it’s been dealt with. I’ve been treated like a number more than a human being.
“But there’s nothing I can do about that, he made his choice and I’m not really looking back at that one.”
However, Benitez has since rejected Colback’s claims, insisting that he treated the Geordie with professionalism and respect after being straightforward with the midfielder from the very beginning.
“Because I have a responsibility and it’s just to concentrate on games, I will not get into this,” said Benitez when quizzed on the incident.
“But I will tell you that we treated him 100 per cent with total respect.
“I am telling you that we treated him with 100 per cent total respect. A lot of respect.”