Kevin Nolan has been a little surprised by the level of animosity between Newcastle and Sunderland fans in the region.
Newcastle fans – who couldn’t love this lot?
Kevin feels that animosity is worse than it is between Liverpool and Everton fans, where he grew up in Liverpool.
This is what Kevin said today:
“I was not aware of the intensity of the split between the fans up here,”
“Joey Barton, a fellow Liverpudlian and I spoke about this not so long after we played in the derby – we couldn’t believe how much difference there was.
“Joey and I grew up with the Liverpool-Everton derby, and obviously that’s on Sunday too, but you could still go into a pub and there will be Liverpool and Everton supporters in that pub.”
“That doesn’t happen here. There’d be a few bloody noses!
“The cities are so close, yet they’re so far away from each other. “Hatred’s a big word, and I don’t really want to use it, but there’s a lot of animosity between the two.
“The week after the 5-1, Andy and I went to watch Celtic-Rangers. The hatred up there is exactly the same.”
Both sides are smarting from their FA Cup exits to lower level clubs, Newcastle at Stevenage, and Sunderland at home to Notts County, so both sides will be trying to make that up with their fans, who were none too happy with last week’s results.
And if the North East sides had won, they would have had home ties in the next round, Newcastle to Reading and Sunderland to Manchester City or Leicester City.
“It’s going to be good, because a lot of the pressure is on them to make sure they get a good result in light of what happened,” “It’ll make it a bit more exciting and even more edgy, but the lads genuinely love it.
“It’ll be tough but we’ll have fantastic support and hopefully we can do it for them and they can have a fantastic day again.”
Both sides are having injury doubts before the game, and from what we’ve read this morning it doesn’t look great for Andy Carroll to be available on Sunday, but there again Newcastle could have a certain Jay Bothroyd in the line-up alongside Shola Ameobi up front.
But that will not happen, as we hear Jay has a hamstring injury at the moment, so even if he signed before Sunday he wouldn’t play – that’s a pity.