Newcastle v Sunderland: Paolo Di Canio wants to end derby drought

Paolo Di Canio

Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio has said his players owe it to the fans to end the 13-year wait for derby success at rivals Newcastle United.

The last victory on Tyneside came in November 2000 when goals from Niall Quinn and Don Hutchison earned a 2-1 win at St James' Park.

"It's the time to renew the moment," Di Canio told BBC Newcastle.

"It's the time to give satisfaction. We have to feel confident we have the quality and team to beat them."

Di Canio added: "The derby is the derby, it obviously counts for three points, not six, but it counts in terms of dignity, honour and pride, especially away from home.

"It will be fantastic to give them [the fans] satisfaction to celebrate, and if we do this we get the three points.

"The most important thing is to see the fans waving red and white scarves and celebrating in their homes, it will be a day to remember for many because the last time we won away was in 2000 with Hutchison and Quinn, that's too far [back in time]."

Results going into Sunday's game are stacked against Sunderland, both in terms of the derby and the Premier League this season in general.

Newcastle have won 51 of the encounters between the two clubs in the league, to the Wearsiders's 41, while Sunday's visitors are also on a run of nine games without a win.

However Di Canio insists his players will be up for the task against a Magpies outfit five points above them in the Premier League table.

"If we don't go there with the maximum desire, passion and intensity, then we ought to go to the psychiatric clinic," he added.

"It is the stage we have waited for, as players, they have to fight and deliver the strategy. They have to fight on the field.

"This is the best stage in the world [for the players]. They will give their best and more than their best, for this I am confident."

Sunday's encounter is the Italian's second match in charge, after at Stamford Bridge.

Despite leading Swindon to promotion from League Two and the final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, the former Lazio and West Ham striker's record in local rivalries as a manager is disappointing.

In three matches against Oxford United, Di Canio's Swindon lost on every occasion, and conceded five goals, scoring once.