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Tyne and Wear derby: Newcastle v Sunderland line-ups

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Benitez tells Newcastle players to forget the past

Rafa Benitez needs a win. Credit: PA

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has ordered his players to forget their dreadful derby record against Sunderland as they attempt to put it right in the club's hour of need.

Six times on the trot the men from Wearside have got the better of their neighbours from the banks of the Tyne with Alan Pardew, John Carver and Steve McClaren all sampling the bitter taste of defeat at the hands of their arch-rivals.

When you have a derby, anything can happen - every game, every season, every manager, new players, so everything changes and hopefully we can change also the result and the score will be good for us.

But you cannot be thinking about what happened in the past, you have to concentrate on what you will do on the pitch and what will happen in the future. It's really good if you can win, and we will try to think about that and nothing else.

We know that every game is really, really important and especially this one because it's a derby and the situation in the table for both teams, so we know we have to get these three points to keep the positive mood that we have at the moment.

– Rafa Benitez

Newcastle boss McClaren happy despite no meeting

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren has spoken to managing director Lee Charnley about his future despite a planned face-to-face meeting on Wednesday not taking place.

Press Association Sport understands the pair discussed the situation over the telephone before McClaren, who had earlier taking training for the second successive day, left the club's Darsley Park training headquarters and headed home.

Steve McClaren is still in charge. Credit: PA

Reports had suggested McClaren and Charnley were to hold showdown talks at St James' Park.

What was said between the two men remains unclear and the club were not commenting this evening, but 54-year-old McClaren was wearing a broad smile as cameras captured him walking towards his car.

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Newcastle boss back at work despite sack rumours

Steve McClaren is still in the job. Credit: PA

Steve McClaren took Newcastle United training on Tuesday morning amid rumours he was set for the sack.

The former England boss arrived at the club's Darsley Park training headquarters, ahead of training beginning at 10.30am.

It was then thought McClaren had left the complex when his car departed soon after, but only his driver was in the car at the time.

McClaren doesn't expect Newcastle sacking

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren expects to be given time to steer his side away from danger as they reach a critical juncture in their season.

The Magpies' defeat at Stoke on Wednesday, their sixth straight away loss in the Premier League, left them in the relegation zone with only 11 games to go and they meet fellow strugglers Bournemouth, Sunderland and Norwich over the next four fixtures.

Steve McClaren has enjoyed few positives this season. Credit: PA

"I don't see any reason why not," he replied when asked if he will see out the campaign.

"We've been in this position all season for a reason. We have to continue in the 11 games to go. You saw the reaction of the players after the last outing. The 18 days (break) has been good. We need that on Saturday."

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