Sunderland's Luke O'Nien reveals verdict on Wear-Tyne derby ahead of Newcastle United Checkatrade Trophy clash
Sunderland's Luke O'Nien has no doubt that tonight's Checkatrade Trophy clash against Newcastle Under-21s should be treated as a derby.
The Black Cats midfielder, 24, has been in fine form recently and will keep his spot at right-back to face the Magpies.
After joining Sunderland in the summer, this will be O'Nien's first taste of facing Newcastle as a Black Cats player, and the 24-year-old is looking forward to the game.
"There's been a lot of talk about whether or not this game counts as a derby, but I'm new to the club and for me there's no question," said O'Nien in his pre-match programme notes.
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"Whether you're playing for Sunderland Under-9s or the first team, if you play against Newcastle you have to do everything to win.
"I'm sure there will be an amazing atmosphere tonight and it's a game I'm really looking forward to, so hopefully we can provide another winning performance in the competition."