They Are Only Mackems After All!
Steven Taylor has outlined the significance of Sunday's derby against Sunderland, but let's draw the bottom line ... they are just Mackems after all.
Steven Taylor: "Newcastle have lost only one of the last 15 'Tyne-Wear' derbies.
"Playing in the Tyne-Wear derby is what it's all about if you're a Newcastle player, and the build-up will grow and grow over this week as the game draws near.
"There's always a massive build-up, and that's the way it should be. It's a game you don't want to lose.
"I think I feel it more than most because I'm a Geordie and a lifelong Newcastle fan, so I'll be reminding the lads just how much it means to the people around here.
"But if any players don't quite grasp the size of this game, the penny will drop when they get out onto the pitch for the warm-up and see the faces in the crowd and how much it means to them.
"As a squad, we won't be doing anything different ahead of the derby - the gaffer will pick the team in the usual way - and it's all about keeping cool heads on the day and keeping 11 players on the pitch.
"What I've learned over the years is that form goes out of the window in this fixture, and it really doesn't matter what either team have done in the matches before the big game.
"Playing in derby games requires an extra degree of concentration, and you have to be more careful with everything you do. So much can happen, but you can't afford to get caught up in the occasion and sucked in by the atmosphere."
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