Jermain Defoe will play in his first Tyne-Wear derby next month.
Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has told the Sunderland Echo that he has been asking his team-mates what it's like to play against Newcastle.
The former England international may have scored twice in his 11 appearances for the club so far, but the situation has changed drastically since his arrival.
Poyet has since been sacked and replaced by Dutchman Dick Advocaat, who must rescue Sunderland from a perilous position, just one point above the relegation zone.
Sunderland's next game is the biggest of the season - facing North East rivals Newcastle in a fierce derby at the Stadium of Light a week on Saturday, after the international break has finished.
The Magpies are in dire form themselves, and Sunderland will be confident of continuing their fine recent form in the Tyne-Wear derby - especially with Defoe in their ranks.
Defoe spoke to the Sunderland Echo ahead of that game, and admitted that he has asked his team-mates what to expect against Sunderland's biggest rivals as he prepares to play in his first Tyne-Wear derby.
"I’ve spoken to the boys and they’ve told me there’s nothing quite like it," Defoe said. "It’s a fixture for the fans and it’s a massive game for everyone involved with the football club."
"It’s a game we can win. The lads have been unbelievable in the last few games against Newcastle. I think it’s four in a row and hopefully that can continue. It’s going to be a difficult game of course but with us being at home we will have the advantage of our fans," he added.