Steve McClaren insists Newcastle United are unconcerned about their recent record against Sunderland ahead of Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby.
Newcastle have lost the last five clashes between the two sides, but manager McClaren suggests this will hold little sway this weekend as neither he nor many of the players were involved in the most recent defeat – the 1-0 loss at the Stadium of Light in April.
Both teams have struggled this season, although the Magpies will come into the encounter with some momentum having demolished Norwich 6-2 in their last fixture – when midfielders Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum shone in particular.
“It’s just another game. We don’t know anything about the five previous ones and half of the team probably won’t either,” said former England boss McClaren.
“It’s a new game, a great opportunity and why should we approach this game any differently than we would Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Norwich or Watford?
“We have to approach every game the same. This game is massive for the fans and I know there is a determination in this club to get that win for the fans.”
Sunderland have yet to win this season, but fans will be hoping new manager Sam Allardyce can inspire his side to get one over the club he managed for an ill-fated spell in 2007 – however McClaren is refusing to believe either team has an advantage over the other.
“I don’t think there are any favourites in this game. Anyone can look at past records and say, ‘Sunderland will be the favourites’, or say, ‘You got your first win, so you are the favourites’,” he added.
“No, in the position that we are in, I don’t think you can call the game. It’s a derby game, form goes out of the window.
“It’s a one-off game, a tough one. You can’t control the result, just how you play, how you perform and we really have to perform well on Sunday to get a result.”
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