It was Steve McClaren’s Sunderland v Newcastle press conference on Thursday afternoon and the club have published a number of quotes.
The Newcastle Head Coach says that they will approach this match no different to any other, with the intention to play the game and ‘not the occasion’.
McClaren says he and the coaching staff know nothing about the last five matches that ended in derby defeats, with half the team in that same position according to the United boss.
That might be stretching it a bit as at the most there will surely be only three of the summer signings at the very most who play on Sunday, with Florian Thauvin having no chance of starting.
The rest of the team/squad will have been at the club whilst one or more of the derby defeats were happening, so should be under no illusions as to just how bad an atmosphere that these losses have created at St James Park.
Steve McClaren confirmed that ‘everyone is fit’, including Rolando Aarons and Kevin Mbabu, though when he says everyone, clearly this won’t include the likes of Steven Taylor, Karl Darlow, Gabriel Obertan and Tim Krul.
“It is a tough game and we will have play really well to get a result on Sunday.”
“We don’t know anything about the 5 previous games and neither do half the team. It’s a fresh game and a great opportunity.”
“The approach for this game is no different and should be no different. We have to play the game and not the occasion.”
“It’s been a normal week for us and that’s what we have tried to do. We try to be as level as possible all the time.”
“Everyone is fit. Kevin Mbabu and Rolando Aarons are both back in training.”
“I don’t want a buoyant squad, I want a fully focussed squad and one that’s ready to play the game on Sunday.”