Lee Cattermole on Sam Allardyce's first week of training at Sunderland

Sunderland Gates

Sunderland face Newcastle United in a hugely important Wear-Tyne derby on Sunday.

Lee Cattermole has told Sunderland's official website that Sam Allardyce has focused training around making sure his players are in peak condition to face Newcastle United on Sunday.

Allardyce has had his first full week working with the Black Cats' squad, and Cattermole has been impressed by what he has seen from the 60-year-old.

Sunderland's captain says that Allardyce's experience has already rubbed off on the players, and everyone in the squad has been trying hard to impress the new man at the helm. 

"Training has been strong this week and our preparation has been centred on making sure the players are right come Sunday," he said. "The manager is very experienced and he’s passed that onto the players,so we know what to believe in and we know what to do to succeed."

Allardyce's first match as Sunderland boss finished in a 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion, but he had not had much time to get his ideas across to the players prior to that contest.

It should, therefore, be clearer to see what he has changed when the Wearsiders take on Newcastle this weekend. 

Sunderland face their local rivals knowing that they can ill-afford to lose in the derby match, due to their awful start to the campaign.

The Black Cats are still looking for their first Premier League win and, given that they are already five points from safety, another defeat could leave them cast adrift in the relegation zone. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch