Alan Pardew: “I think this could be the start of something special.
“I think we are both stronger than we have been for some time.
“We have a good management team, so do they, and we both have good academies. I think we're now at a point where both sides can look at each other and say, 'We can compete with them'.
"We're confident we can compete with them, and I'm pretty sure they think the same about us.
“Neither of us want to still, we're both looking to keep moving forward, and I think this game is a springboard to the top eight, if you win it.
“A draw would keep us both where we are in mid-table, which is not where either of us want to be, but if you take a step back and look at the two teams, you'd have to say that the North-East is as strong as it's been for a number of years.
"They are a good side, and I think we are a good side too. That's a good thing.
“You want this derby to be more than just a parochial game.
“You don't want to be in a position at the end of the season where the only trophy on your shelf is having beaten the other local team. I don't think they want that, and we certainly don't.
“We want to have some substance to our season. We got European football last year and we want to try to achieve that again or win a major trophy. That's what we've got to aim for.
“But of course, locally, these games will always be defining for the fans. I might think our best wins last season were against Manchester United, Wolves or Stoke away, but to our fans, the most important win was definitely Sunderland.
"There's no mistaking that and I mustn't ignore it. I have to understand that feeling.
“Sunderland play a certain way, with really high energy.
“They don't want you to play or pass the ball. In a derby game, that can get accelerated even more.
“If we don't match that, we're not going to be able to play our game. We need to match their effort and commitment.
"If we do that, we'll have a good chance of winning the game.”
Source: Newcastle United Mad