Former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce hopes to continue his positive St James’s Park record this weekend after just one defeat in four returns to Tyneside.
Allardyce samples a Tyne-Wear derby for the first time on Sunday after both of his previous experiences of the North East rivalry have been at the Stadium of Light - 2007’s 1-1 draw when he was Magpies boss and his first win at the Sunderland helm last October.
The 61-year-old was sacked by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley after just eight months in the hotseat back in January 2008, following the Sport Direct tycoon’s takeover at St James’s.
But Allardyce has won two and drawn one of his four subsequent games at Newcastle with Blackburn and then West Ham, with the Magpies’ win over the Hammers on the final day of last season - which secured their Premier League status - his sole defeat.
Allardyce said: “I’ve been back many times.
“Last season’s was the first I’d lost since I’d left. Every time I’d been back with Blackburn or West Ham, we’d either drawn or won.
“It’s been a pretty lucky ground for me as a manager and I hope we’ll have that luck again on Sunday.
“You always need a bit of luck to win a derby.
“Hopefully our players can make their own luck too and we continue the fantastic run we’ve got against our local rivals.
“And make sure that at the end of the day, we come away with something.
“Hopefully a win, but if not, make sure we don’t lose.”