Sam Allardyce and Niall Quinn both talked today about the upcoming Newcastle Sunderland derbies – which are always very special for the region.
With Niall Quinn now Chairman of Sunderland and Roy Keane and Sam Allardyce – who know each other well – now managers at the two clubs – the derbies this coming season will be special ones to look forward to.
Niall Quinn and Sam Allardyce
Here’s what Quinn and Allardyce said today about these special games.
First off is Big Sam:
“I’m aware of what the Sunderland-Newcastle game means to the region. The Middlesbrough one is earlier, which is another local derby, but it’s not as close. When we get to that fixture we need to make sure we’ve already had a very good start to the season. We don’t want to be under any more pressure than we will be anyway to win a local derby.
The fans will expect it will be a victory because they’re our local rivals, but it doesn’t always work out like that. The players will know what sort of pressure they will be under in that game. Nobody wants to be on the losing side in a local derby. It will be good to see Niall Quinn, knowing him as well as I do.
Obviously I also know Roy Keane, I tried to sign him when he went to Celtic after leaving Manchester United, but I’ve not spoken to him since I came up here. I’ve not had the opportunity to speak to him because my time is not spent talking to other managers at the moment. He’ll be more than welcome for a cup of tea, it will be nice to see him. Our paths will cross somewhere down the line.”
Niall Quinn of course has been involved in the derbies as a player. He mentions the game that Sunderland won 2-1 on a rain drenched night at St. James’s Park. That was the night Alan Shearer had been dropped by Ruud Gullit and of course after the game Guillit offered his resignation which Chairman Shepherd accepted.
When it became a battle of egos between Gullit and Shearer – Gullit lost.
This is what Chairman Quinn (who has done a great job at Sunderland by keeping a hands off approach with Roy Keane – yet supporting him all the way) said about the derby games today:
“I played a lot of derbies in Manchester and had not much luck in those ones at all, and I played in Arsenal v Spurs derbies as a younger player.
“But the Newcastle v Sunderland derby, the place goes ga-ga for about three weeks beforehand and then, depending on how you have done, if you have been lucky enough to win, your place stays ga-ga and the other place goes a little bit depressed.
“It is just colossal. To me, the first time we beat Newcastle over there and Ruud Gullit was the manager, we did not have many fans in the stadium that night, but I just could not believe the aftermath days later.
“People were writing songs about it here in Sunderland, it was amazing. You just feel this is so important to the people.
“Regardless of the outcome, the rivalry now that we have with Newcastle is a different kind of rivalry these days.
“Football has changed, there are new people involved at both clubs and I think it can become the leading sporting event of the region.
“Maybe the Great North Run organisers might not agree with that, but I just think it might be an opportunity for us now to make this derby bigger to everybody else.
“We all know what it’s like in this region but, perhaps with Sam Allardyce and Roy Keane involved, we will hopefully show the rest of the footballing world how big it actually is.
“It is something colossal to look forward to.”
Well these games are going to be massive next season – and of course we’d expect to win both of them.
Comments are welcome – even from Sunderland fans.Â Â Â 😀