STEVE Bruce says he’s looking forward to one of the great spectacles of English football when the Wear-Tyne derby kicks off tomorrow.
But he has called on fans of both sides to make sure that they are on their best behaviour, with the eyes of the world upon them.
The Sunderland manager – chasing a first derby win against Newcastle after taking just one point from the two showdowns last season – told the Echo: “It’s a fantastic game in prospect and I think the fact that we have a sell-out at the Stadium of Light so early in the season tells you all you need to know about the importance of the game as far as the supporters are concerned.
“It is one of THE great games and, as I found out last season when I was involved in North East derbies for the first time, it’s an incredible occasion.
“The noise and the passion of the fans has to be seen to be believed and it’s something that stays with you.
“What I would ask though is that the fans channel their passion in the right direction and behave in the right manner.
“We want the game to be remembered for all the right reasons and we want to show the rest of the world what a great footballing occasion the North East can provide.
“There have been a couple of controversial incidents involving fans in the derby in recent seasons and I understand that passions run high, but I want this weekend’s game to be all about the football itself.”