Billy Jones hopes he is Newcastle’s nemesis after doubling his Premier League goal tally with another against the Magpies.
Full-back Jones’s first in a Sunderland shirt helped to secure a record-breaking sixth successive derby win yesterday, as Sam Allardyce propelled the Black Cats off the foot of the table with a maiden victory of the campaign.
To get our first win of the season is massive and we needed to get that pressure off ourselves.Sunderland scorer Billy Jones
The 28-year-old’s only previous top-flight goal had come for West Brom in an April 2013 draw against Newcastle.
But after steering home Yann M’Vila’s volley from close range, Jones got himself on the scoresheet with a more meaningful goal, as the derby once again proved to be the launchpad of Sunderland’s season.
Jones told the Echo: “I remember when I first signed, it was one of the first things mentioned by the press that my only Premier League goal had come against Newcastle.
“You always look in the programme before the game, when they name the guys who have scored against the club you’re playing against.
“Maybe Newcastle is the team for me!
“I always have that self-confidence going up for set plays that I might get the second ball.
“I’ve been close a few times for Sunderland, last year and last week as well.
“It’s a little bit of peace of mind that I haven’t stolen it off Yann. I think the man on the line might have been clearing it, which was good.
“I knew I had to put it in first and foremost to make sure. I’ve already watched the replay and told Yann it wasn’t going in!”
Unlike Sunderland’s previous derby victories, the Black Cats were far from convincing, with Newcastle dominating the opening 45 minutes.
But the penalty, and red card to Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini, turned the game on its head on the stroke of half-time, and gave Sunderland the platform to finally break their duck with a win at the 10th time of asking.
Jones said: “It’s huge for us. It’s a derby game, so you want to win to make it six-in-a-row.
“You want to do it for the fans, do it for the club and have the bragging rights.
“But to get our first win of the season is massive and we needed to get that pressure off ourselves.
“It’s there for everyone to see – when you look at the league, everyone is talking about it.
“Hopefully now we’ve got that first win, we can move onwards and upwards, and get three points next weekend against Everton.”
He added: “Newcastle had that spell in the first half where they were performing better than us.
“When that happens, you’ve got to ride the storm, wait for your chances and feel your way into the game.
“Obviously it’s hard to do when it’s a derby. You don’t want to be taking it easy when it’s 100mph.
“But we defended some good balls that they put in. They’ve got some individuals with talent there.
“The game turned on its head with the penalty decision and the sending-off.
“Going in with a one-goal lead in first-half stoppage time was massive.
“We knew that a clean sheet would win us the game, and if we exploited the man advantage, we’d get more goals.”