Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce hopes to see his side continue what he admits is a “bizarre” winning streak against Newcastle United in the Wear-Tyne derby.
The Black Cats have won five consecutive games against their rivals and three of those victories came as a new Sunderland boss took part in their second game after losing their first.
Following defeat to West Brom last weekend, Allardyce has the chance to do exactly the same thing when two of the Premier League’s bottom three sides do battle at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
Sunderland are bottom of the table and are the only side not to have won a game from their first nine, but victory this weekend would take them level with Newcastle on six points.
“If history follows itself, it is what is going to happen – that is what I hope, anyway,” said the former Newcastle boss.
“It has got very little to do with me, it is down to fate the fact that this run carries on. It is quite bizarre to say that they have won five on the trot and telling me the last three managers’ second game was against Newcastle and they had all lost the first one and won the second one.
“I am just hoping that it continues to follow on this Sunday. Hopefully we can evolve as a backroom team and help the players on the pitch. My job is to remind the players of the importance of the game and control their emotions.
“Hopefully they can achieve what they have before – an outstanding victory. For my team it is about delivering on the day like they have delivered before.”
Allardyce revealed Fabio Borini will undergo a late fitness test for the game after picking up a knock against West Brom, although Ola Toivonen (groin) is ready to play.