The 24-year-old found himself switched to left-back under former coach Paolo Di Canio, with the Italian of the opinion that a player whose only prior experience of life in that position had come during sporadic outings as cover under Martin O'Neill could be successfully converted.
Colback admits he never felt comfortable in a defensive role, with his career having been carved out in the middle of the park - from his days as an academy hopeful through to the senior set-up.
Poyet has moved him back into the engine room after inheriting the managerial reins at the Stadium of Light, and a starring role in a much-needed derby victory over Newcastle United on Sunday suggests he was right to do so.
Colback told the Sunderland Echo: "Midfield is my position. A lot of people have asked me where is my position, and it's obvious I'm not a left-back. I filled in there, but I've never been a left-back.
"I'm a midfielder and that's where I want to be, so hopefully I can get a run in the team there.
"The manager didn't even have to ask. He said he knew I wasn't a left-back, although I don't know whether that was a compliment or not!
"But he said I'm going to be playing midfield now and it's up to me to show I'm good enough in training and in games."
On the weekend heroics against Newcastle, which saw Sunderland collect their first win of the season at the ninth time of asking and climb off the foot of the Premier League table, Colback said: "It's nice to win a game for a change, but we know we've still got a lot to do because the situation isn't good enough.
"Winning the derby is massive for us, though. Obviously it's great for the fans to get a win over Newcastle, but more importantly, with the position we're in, we needed that win. Hopefully we can start moving up the table now.
"It's not been good enough over recent weeks. Everyone is honest enough to admit that. One point from eight games is not good enough, but we knew how much it meant on Sunday to the fans."