Johnson Targeting Another 'Special' Derby Day

Stu Forster

Derbies have been kind to Sunderland in recent times, and Adam Johnson has no desire to blot his derby day copybook any time soon.

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In-form Sunderland winger Adam Johnson can't wait to renew rivalries with Newcastle this weekend, and is hoping that a positive approach can see his side land another 'special' win on Tyneside.

Johnson scored a brilliant solo effort to wrap up the points in the fixture last season, though amazingly he will likely be one of only four Black Cats players who started that game in April to take to the field again this time round.

He has no doubt that Newcastle will still be hurting from that, as well as Sunderland's win in the home game this season, but is convinced that on the day it will boil down to who wants it the most. He told reporters:

There will be a few of their players wanting to get one over us after what happened last year. There were a few angry players after the game ' but that's the derby for you. I'm so looking forward to it again.

Just the win made it so special. It is no different this year. If we can build on what we have done in the last couple of weeks and get a result there we will be happy and we are definitely going there to win. We have been very good away from home and have played very well.

The derby is one of those odd games though which is down to who wants it more. These are the games you play for. It's great for the fans and the passion is intense.

The passion of the fans in the North-east is unbelievable and I think our win there kept a few people happy on our side of the fence for several months.

This, for me, is the strangest derby for years and the toughest to call. The fact it is all being a little washed away by the transfer deadline rush, our Wembley adventure and their Cabaye loss, it barely feels like derby week at all. It's almost a distraction.

There are just so many questions. Will Cabaye's loss galvanise Newcastle mentally or sting them too greatly in terms of the lost quality? Will Sunderland's recent record in derbies spur on the home side or pile too much pressure on their shoulders? Will new players make debuts and will they shrink or shine in the instant spotlight? Who is more confident at the moment given Newcastle's much better league campaign but Sunderland's recent resurgence?

I haven't a scoobies how it's going to go. Not one clue. No result at all would surprise me. I just hope Johnson gets another special derby memory to treasure.

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