Even though we won our first game of the season 6-2 against Norwich on Sunday that was still only our second win in the last 20 league games and the game at Sunderland on Sunday is going to be very tough – and if our players don´t think that way we could lose our 6th game in a row against them.
It´s really that simple and there been times over the last five meetings when we were favorites and thought we would win the game, but we have always been outfought in those games and deserved to lose.
That´s the reality we have to face before Sunday.
Steve McClaren – directing traffic on Sunday
We hope it will be different – and a second win in a row would be fantastic.
Sunderland have got six of their points in the league from Newcastle in each of the last two seasons – and they have beaten us after coming into the games on a (very) bad run of results.
So we should pay no attention to how they performed in the first nine games – it means nothing in this game.
In both of the last two seasons Sunderland finished on 38 points in the league (16th last season and 14th the season before) so about 16% of their points came from the two games with Newcastle.
They have relied on the Newcastle points to avoid relegation and if they had lost those games and finished on 32 points they would have gone down in each of the last two seasons.
We have to go all out to get our second win on the trot on Sunday and our first against Sunderland since way back in August 2011 – as we try to turn our season around.