Sam Allardyce admits to feeling the pressure ahead of the derby game on Sunday.

With Sunderland having won the last five derbies, Allardyce says that there is more pressure on him than Steve McClaren.

Newcastle’s crushing victory over Norwich has come just in time, a United team that was struggling with confidence should now be really on the rise heading into this vital match.

A win would see Newcastle really getting some momentum and potentially moving out of the bottom three, depending on results elsewhere.

Whereas a defeat would be very hard to take and potentially send Newcastle back to the bottom of the table.

One of the biggest black marks on Alan Pardew and John Carver’s time at the club, was the dreadful run of five defeats against the local rivals.

It wasn’t just the actual results but the fact that every time the players and management failed to get themselves really up for the game.

The fact that in each of the last three seasons it was only the points from the derbies that kept Sunderland up, tells you all you need to know about how bad Sunderland have been and yet they beat Newcastle time after time.

Sam Allardyce:

“I have got to look after the reputation of Sunderland. The pressure is on me more than it is on Steve (McClaren).

“We have won the last five, so I don’t want to be the one who doesn’t win it, but we will wait and see on the players, only the players can make everyone smile next week – they just have to carry on what they have done five times before.

“They have been struggling but won the last five games against Newcastle, they don’t need me to coach them this week…let’s hope for the same again.”


“I hope the players are willing to listen and get better, hopefully with my experience of managing at this level and knowing what it takes to get out of this position, we can do that.

“If they take on board what I think they need to, hopefully we’ll have enough ability in front of goal to turn performances into victories.”

Dearest rivals:

“On the basis of such a short space of time, if we can carry on being defensively solid and obviously use the ball better, particularly in the second half, I can get these players believing a bit more.

“Then we can turn the corner as quickly as possible – we all hope that will be next Sunday now against our dearest rivals.”