Newcastle United bogeyman John O’Shea says the central message in the Sunderland camp is “more of the same” as the Black Cats strive to secure a magnificent seven in the Tyne-Wear derby.
Sunderland became the first North East side to win six successive derbies when they triumphed 3-0 at the Stadium of Light in October, and they have the opportunity to extend that streak at St James’s Park on Sunday.
Captain O’Shea has featured in all six wins during a career which has NEVER seen him on the losing side against Newcastle, and says Sunderland need to again demonstrate their superior will-to-win against the Magpies.
“They’re great occasions and they’re the ones you want to be involved in,” said O’Shea.
“You have to perform in derbies and show what it takes to win them.
“We need to show it again. It’ll be a good test against them with a new manager. I’m sure he’ll be wanting to make an impact.
“But it’s more of the same from the recent derbies and then take that into the remaining games of the season.”
The double incentive for Sunderland to come away with three points from a fourth successive trip to St James’s is to plunge the Magpies even further into relegation trouble.
Sunderland would open up a four-point gap with Newcastle in the battle for survival, ahead of both sides visiting fellow relegation contenders Norwich next month.
“It’s great if you can get a good performance, but ultimately it’s the result that matters and we’ll be looking for another win on Sunday,” added O’Shea to the club website.
“We’ve done very well in this game and we want to continue that.
“But ultimately, we want to stay in the Premier League and that means we have to take points off people and if we can do that against a team that’s close to us, then it’s obviously good for us.
“No matter who you’re facing at this stage of the season, we’ve shown we can take points off them home or away.”