Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren is not concerned by the Magpies' five consecutive losses to Sunderland as they head into the derby this weekend on the back of a 6-2 victory over Norwich City.
Both clubs are in a serious relegation battle, with Newcastle three points clear of the Black Cats and vying to secure a much-needed victory that would see them climb further up the table.
McClaren, though, insists his team will take the same approach to the clash as they would any other game, despite the pride at stake.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
"It's just another game. We don't know anything about the five previous ones and half of the team probably won't either," McClaren told Sky Sports.
"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?"
Former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce heads into his second game in charge of Sunderland having lost his debut away to West Brom. The Englishman has the pressure of ensuring the Black Cats continue their five-game winning streak over their Tyneside rivals, or to at avoid defeat.
And whilst McClaren's start to life at St James' Park has been difficult, Allardyce could suffer from similar scrutiny if he is unable to steer Sunderland to their first win of the season after nine games played.
What's worse for Allardyce is that the Magpies will be buoyed from their convincing win last weekend, and McClaren knows his side will have to replicate their performance against Norwich if they are to get a good result against their rivals.
He added: "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."
"Every game is tough in the Premier League. Sunday is going to be no tougher than any other game and we just know it is going to be very important for the club and for the fans."