Sunderland’s Dean Whitehead has urged his team-mates to forget their derby misery and secure their top flight future. The Black Cats face local opposition once again this weekend when Middlesbrough head for the Stadium of Light, but the rivalry between the two clubs is not as intense as that shared by the Wearsiders and Newcastle United.
There was bruised pride in the city on Monday as the club’s fans reflected upon a bad day at St James’ Park on which Kevin Keegan guided his side to a comfortable 2-0 victory with the help of a brace from Michael Owen.
But once the dust has settled over a match which means so much to both sets of supporters, it is the wider repercussions which will assume greater importance.
“We have got another big game on Saturday against Middlesbrough and we are on our home patch, so we have got to make that count.”
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