The derby nerves are already kicking in four days before the event but thankfully Moussa Sissoko has made me laugh out loud this morning…even though I almost also choked on my Cocopops.

The workshy French international has revealed some of what Rafa Benitez has been telling the players behind the scenes.

The midfielder says the new Manager has told the squad he ‘believes’ that they will survive this season, which is hardly rocket science.

Only a mackem infiltrator or madman, would march into the relegation threatened dressing room for the first time and announce that they were doomed. Even Joe Kinnear would possibly manage to not make that schoolboy era…

However, the real comedy line delivered by Moussa Sissoko is the following.

“He (Rafa Benitez) said that we have a lot of players of quality in this team and that we have a good team, with some top players, and that’s why he came here.”

You can just imagine so many of our squad, such as Moussa Sissoko, sat there and soaking up Rafa’s words, preening themselves, thinking inwardly ‘Yes, I am indeed a quality player, thank you for recognising that Mr Benitez, if only my team-mates had not let me down’.

For Sissoko simply to repeat what Rafa Benitez said to them is both hilarious and infuriating at the same time.

How can any of these players who have proved so poor this season (and well before that for many of them, especially Moussa Sissoko!) and let us all down, think Benitez was being serious, when he talked of them as ‘top players’!

Talk about egos.

Moussa Sissoko, a ‘top player’ who as an attacking midfielder hasn’t scored a goal all season and ever since that one-off Norwich basketball 6-2 match (five months ago), I struggle to remember the last time he got an assist.

A bit like telling you that you are going to stay up, Rafa Benitez is telling you what you want to hear you dummy!

Rafa may well see potential in the Newcastle job if he can steer us through safely to the end of the season and then can choose which players HE wants to bring in, to replace the chancers our team is currently filled with, apart from a few exceptions which DON’T include Moussa Sissoko.

The new Manager isn’t going to come in and say ‘Look, know that you are all rubbish with a ridiculously inflated idea of your own abilities, but I’m sure I can rely on you to get the points we need to stay up…’.

Newcastle have lost all six derby matches since Moussa Sissoko arrived at St James Park, needless to say – he owes us a performance this Sunday as one of our ‘Top Players’:

Moussa Sissoko:

“He (Rafa Benitez) said that we have a lot of players of quality in this team and that we have a good team, with some top players, and that’s why he came here.

“He believes we will stay in the Premier League, so that is good.

“We need to work every game and start to win next Sunday.

“From the beginning of the season we played well in some games – but most of the time we weren’t good for 95 minutes.

“But we were consistent for 95 minutes at Leicester, so that’s good and we need to carry it on for the next game.”