Sunderland manager Gus Poyet says the only way to have a calm derby against Newcastle this weekend is for the city to not serve alcohol all day.
Newcastle United and Sunderland share one of the fiercest rivalries in English football, with passion that threatens to get out of control in very small groups.
Poyet has argued that he wants Sunderland fans travelling to St James Park this weekend to be able to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
“A derby is a derby. People are passionate but these days we are more worried about Twitter and Facebook than alcohol. You want a friendly derby? Don't sell alcohol for the whole day in Newcastle and maybe you’ve got a chance,” he told the Northern Echo.
“If you are going to let everyone go to the pub and expect them to behave you are a bit naïve. Quite naive. I am a head coach not the head of security or in the police department.”
“I want to make sure our fans go with the right mentality to enjoy the day. Accept whatever it brings and be funny without being disrespectful. But let’s not be too naïve.”
Sunderland will go into the game fancying their chances despite trailing Newcastle by seven points in the table.
Newcastle are the favourites, have the pressure and their manager Alan Pardew has already revealed his frustrations over the team’s current injury problems.
Sunderland also have the advantage of additional rest with Newcastle forced to travel south for the League Cup quarter-final against Tottenham Hotspur this evening.
It’s a great match up between a side looking to climb towards the top half of the table travelling to a side hampered by some injuries but focused on the top six.
May the best team win.