Our old friend Lee Cattermole has said he is ‘chomping at the bit’ ahead of the derby match on Sunday.

The clashes between the Sunderland midfielder and Cheick Tiote have summed up the intensity, and the stupidity at times, of the derby match in recent times.

However, on Sunday it will be interesting to see who goes up against Cattermole this time in Tiote’s absence, if indeed the mackem midfielder plays himself.

He’s missed the last couple of matches after picking up his usual ten yellow cards already.

“I’m chomping at the bit and I’m fit and ready to finish the season as strongly as I can.

“I thought we deserved something from the game against West Ham United because it was a good performance, but we’ve had an extended period to work on the team and when the lads come back the head coach has a week to plan how he wants to move forward as we head into the Wear-Tyne derby.

We need to improve..:

“We need to improve but there is no better place to start than a derby, so it is up to us to put in a good performance and more importantly pick up the three points.

“The lads are right behind him (new manager Dick Advocaat) and our recent record against Newcastle United has been very good, although every derby game is different we do have the experience and the belief that we can deal with whatever is thrown at us.”

Well Sunderland haven’t dealt with whatever has been thrown at them in recent matches, failing to win any of their last eight games.

Indeed over the season dealing with whatever has been thrown at them has been a constant problem, currently standing only one place and one point above the relegation zone.

Hopefully there will be more than one or two Newcastle players ‘chomping at the bit’ in anticipation of Sunderland on Sunday.

There certainly hasn’t been much chomping going on in recent times, with one of the biggest black marks against Alan Pardew being the fact that Newcastle have disgracefully lost the last four derby games.

It isn’t the case of United’s players descending to the level of an idiot like Lee Cattermole, more a case of controlled aggression and taking the fight to the mackems from the first whistle.