Mark Lawrenson has looked ahead to the Newcastle v Sunderland match on Sunday afternoon.

The BBC pundit thinks that Newcastle were much improved at Leicester following only a couple of days training under Rafa Benitez BUT…

The big but for Mark Lawrenson is that despite being a fan of Rafa Benitez, he doesn’t think that the players he has inherited ‘have the correct mindset’.

Having failed to be self-motivated to fight relegation under McClaren, Lawrenson thinks that it will be ‘the same problem’ for the derby on Sunday.

He has predicted a 1-1 draw which would be of far more use to Sunderland when it is an away game and they are a point ahead with a superior goal difference.

There is no doubt that this Newcastle v Sunderland game will be intriguing for neutrals BUT torture for those of us who will be directly affected by what happens on the pitch on Sunday.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Sunderland have had the upper hand in this fixture for a few seasons now but I already saw some improvement from Newcastle in Rafa Benitez’s first game in charge, Monday’s defeat by Leicester.

“I cannot tip Newcastle to win, though, because I don’t think their players have the correct mindset.

“If they cannot motivate themselves to play when their team is facing the drop, then they will have the same problem with a game against Sunderland.”

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