Jack Ross admits that he would rather face a senior side in the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy.
Sunderland will discover their opponents on Saturday afternoon, when the draw takes place live on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday.
With the draw regionalised for the final time, there is a strong possibility that the Black Cats could be drawn against Newcastle United U21s.
Manchester City's youngsters are also a potential opponent after they secured an impressive win against Barnsley in midweek.
"It [derby] would be an unusual set of circumstances," Ross said.
"I wouldn't want to labour on it too much but we've seen that with another derby in the week [Port Vale v Stoke City U21s].
"There's a different dynamic when you have a derby match and it's one first team and one U21s.
"It's not ideal, I think everyone would appreciate that at any derby throughout the country.
"But is it what it is. Whatever comes out of the draw for us, we'll deal with that challenge.
"Taking completely out of it that it could be Newcastle in a derby, I don't think any senior team enjoys playing an U21 side, if I'm honest.
"I've had it in Scotland with colt teams, that are now allowed in the Challenge up, they're no win matches for the first team.
"Not just because of the derby, I would just prefer it to be against another senior team.
"I just found those games more enjoyable."
The other sides Sunderland could face are Accrington Stanley, Bury, Port Vale, Shrewsbury Town, Rochdale and Oldham Athletic.
The Black Cats also discovered this week that they will travel to Bolton Wanderers in the third round of the FA Cup, if they can beat Walsall at the Stadium of Light next Tuesday.
Ross said that it was an 'OK' draw.
"I would have liked it to have been at home," he said.
"Not just because our record is good but because of the number of games we've got and the logistics involved whenever we travel.
"It's a difficult match if we get through but one that we would enjoy the challenge of.
"It's an OK one for me and a manager, but we've got a difficult game to get through first.
"Again, in the Checkatrade we would probably hope for a home draw. It may be regionalised for this round again, but that doesn't always mean that much for us, as we've seen already."