Newcastle United loan midfielder Dan Barlaser is relishing a trip to the Stadium of Light tomorrow night.
The 22-year-old is a Newcastle fan and has played against Sunderland a number of times as he came through the ranks at St James’ Park.
He will be supported by family and friends at Sunderland as he looks to get Stanley back on track, live on Sky.
“I have supported Newcastle all my life so to play against Sunderland’s first team at the Stadium of Light is a massive opportunity for us,” said Barlaser.
“I have been at Newcastle since I was nine so have played Sunderland in various age groups coming through.
“In the FA Youth Cup, I remember beating them 4-0 at St James’ Park which was a good night and we beat them away on penalties.
“As a fan I have been to many derby days , some very good ones and some very bad ones.
“I was there when Ryan Taylor scored the winner and then when it was 1-1 when Yohan Cabaye scored. There have been a few 1-0s, 2-0s and so on.
“In the North East they are passionate about their football and so they should be.
“It should be a good game against Sunderland, they have drawn a few, and we know we need to start on the front foot and frustrate them and hopefully nick a goal.”
Sunderland are fourth in League One, having lost only two of their 30 league games – but they have drawn 13. The Reds are 16th, 22 points behind Sunderland after their 29 league matches.
Stanley haven’t scored in six league games but that doesn’t worry Barlaser.
“We have got goal scorers in the team so it’s something I personally am not worried about,” he said.
“At the start of the season we were scoring goals for fun and, at the moment, we are creating a lot of chances but the ball isn’t going in the net. We just seem to be taking an extra pass and we probably need to shoot more – all of us.”
In the last televised appearance against Derby in the Emirates FA Cup, Barlaser saw red for two bookings.
“I have learnt my lesson from that, if you get a yellow early I have learnt not to dive in to any challenges.
“It’s good we are on Sky, it’s a chance to make a name for yourself in front of a big audience and we want to prove ourselves.”