A bit of a strange experience this morning, having to agree with something Sam Allardyce had to say.

Rafa Benitez gives his pre-derby press conference later today but it was our old friend who was up first before taking training on Friday morning.

Sam Allardyce said that ‘The only was you can enjoy a derby is if you win it’ and very hard to disagree.

If there is any match where the result is everything and performance is very much forgotten, then this is it.

There are no excuses for failure and this was shown to stark effect in October, Newcastle totally dominating in the first half but not making it count, then even with 10 men United often looked the better team. However, all of that is forgotten and only the 3-0 scoreline remains imprinted on the brain for most people.

Sam Allardyce says that he has no injuries about from young striker Watmore and new signing Eboue, though elsewhere it is reported that Jermain Defoe is a doubt.

Sam Allardyce speaking at his Friday morning pre-derby press conference:

We’re playing well, we’re playing consistently well and we need to make sure we continue that.

“No injuries apart from Watmore (ankle) and Eboue (hamstring).

“To control the players emotions is one of the most important things I need to do (before the game).

“All players wherever they come from are well aware of derbies. This one is as big as any in the country.

“We have got to get our players ready for battle and hopefully we can win the battle.

“We’re enticing the best coaches to come and work here so it is always a great challenge to test yourself against them.

“Hopefully I will be able to make my team tactically better (than Newcastle) to win the game.”

 “The only way you can enjoy a derby is if you win it.

“We need to make sure out of possession we are resilient to stop Newcastle scoring

“The three points will put either side in a great position to get themselves safe.”

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