NEWCASTLE United boss Alan Pardew has backed Jack Colback to thrive in the white-hot derby atmosphere on Sunday.
The midfielder is braced for some stick from Sunderland fans after his controversial switch across the Tyne-Wear divide in the summer.
But Pardew insists Colback will ‘respond’ to that and continue his ‘fantastic’ form at St James’s Park – where he famously scored for Sunderland last season.
The Toon manager said: “Jack Colback’s been fantastic since he’s been here.
“His conduct has been impeccable and I’m looking forward to seeing him play.
“It’s a great occasion and the best players respond to that. It’s the sort of atmosphere you want to play in. We’re looking forward to it.
“I hope we can put on a show which is fitting of the occasion, that the best team wins and the fans conduct themselves with class.”