Sam Allardyce on why he's under more pressure than Steve McClaren ahead of Sunderland vs Newcastle United

Sam Allardyce Press Conference 12/02/2014

The bitter rivals meet at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has claimed there is more pressure on him than Newcastle United counterpart Steve McClaren ahead of this weekend’s Tyne-Wear derby.

The Black Cats have emerged victorious in the last five encounters between the two and their new boss feels the weight on expectation rests firmly on his shoulders.

“I’ve got to look after the reputation of Sunderland… the pressure’s on me, more than it’s on Steve,” said Allardyce, in quotes published by the Sunderland Echo.

“We’ve won the last five, so I don’t want to be the one who doesn’t win it.

“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.”

His preparation for the derby clash hasn’t been ideal, with Saturday’s disappointing result against West Brom extending Sunderland’s winless streak to nine games.

Saido Berahino’s controversial strike also condemned the Black Cats to their fifth consecutive Premier League defeat and they will be desperate to put an end to that when the Magpies arrive at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

Newcastle endured contrasting fortunes with their 6-2 thrashing of Norwich yesterday and will be confident of bringing about an end to their dismal run of form in the derby.

Sunday’s clash is shaping up to be one of the most important Tyne-Wear derbies in years and Allardyce joked that his squad’s recent success means he will barely need to participate in the pre-match preparation.

“They have been struggling, but won the last five games against Newcastle…They don’t need me to coach them this week!” He added.

“Let’s hope for the same again.”

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