Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce admits he is feeling the pressure ahead of Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby, as the Black Cats go into the game without a win from their first nine league matches.
Allardyce's three predecessors have all defeated Newcastle in their second game in charge, but their new boss knows Sunderland face a tough contest against their fellow strugglers, who comfortably beat Norwich City 6-2 on Sunday.
Sunderland waiting on first win
The Black Cats have three points so far this campaign which leaves them bottom of the table, five points from safety and three points off their fierce rivals.
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"The pressure's on me more than it's on Steve (McClaren). We've won the last five, so I don't want to be the one who doesn't win it." Allardyce told the Sunderland Echo.
"But we'll wait and see on the players - only the players can make everyone smile next week. They just have to carry on what they have done five times before.
"They have been struggling, but won the last five games against Newcastle. They don't need me to coach them this week! Let's hope for the same again."
Allardyce will be hoping he gets some of the fortune Sunderland's previous three managers have had against the Magpies, after losing his first game in charge at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
McClaren holds the advantage
McClaren goes into the game with the upper hand, having earned respectable draws away to Manchester United and at home to Chelsea. Their 6-2 win at the weekend will have boosted their confidence, in what has otherwise been, a poor start to the season.
Black Cats fans will hope Allardyce's previous success at West Ham will transfer to the Stadium of Light, after former boss Dick Advocaat resigned from his position earlier this month.
Allardyce has already confessed it could take three successive wins before Sunderland can start to feel some safety from relegation.
Despite respectable success at Upton Park, the 61-year-old faces a much tougher challenge in the north east and will need a drastic upturn in results to stop Sunderland facing the drop.
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