Sunderland full-back Phil Bardsley is relishing taking part in his first Tyne-Wear derby against Newcastle United on Sunday.
The tough-tackling former Manchester United right-back has admitted talk of the derby has dominated training this week and he can't wait to make the short trip to St James' Park.
The two sides drew 1-1 at the Stadium of Light in November, while the Black Cats haven't tasted derby success on Tyneside since 2000.
"We know that you don't get a more important game than a local derby in football as far as the fans are concerned," Bardsley told the Sunderland Echo.
"But we also know how special this particular derby is. It's something everyone talks about and you couldn't get away from it even if you tried.
"Obviously the local lads haven't stopped mentioning it and there's no doubt at all that every one of the players, regardless of where they come from is going to be up for the Newcastle game.
"These are the sort of games you look forward to in football and we all know the importance of it to Sunderland fans.
"So we've got to give our all in training this week to try and impress the manager and his staff."