Simon Mignolet

Mignolet looks forward to derby

by Ashley Houghton

Keeper previews 'special' game.

Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet says focus is the key as the Black Cats head into this weekend’s Tyne-Wear derby.

Sunday’s fixture will be Paolo Di Canio’s second game in charge of the Wearsiders after last weekend’s narrow defeat to Chelsea.

“Every single player in our dressing room is hungry to make sure we get enough points to achieve what we want,” Mignolet said.

“Every day on the training pitch everybody is alert and everybody wants to try and make sure they do every single thing, every single week, to get the points that we want.

He added: “As a team, [we] have to look at our own performances and our own ability and make sure we play a game like we would any normal game and not just because it’s Newcastle.

“Of course for the supporters it’s always extra special [the derby game] and they want us to win against Newcastle - for them it’s the most important game of the year.”

And the Belgian stopper feels the performance last weekend should give the Black Cats confidence as they head into the next game.

“I think the last couple of games we played, against Manchester United and against Chelsea, we did really well,” he said.

“Definitely in the second half against United and the first half against Chelsea, where we created a lot of chances.

“If we're going to win matches we have to combine those two halves into one game against Newcastle, and if we can do that then I’m not worried about who scores the goals as long as we win the game.”