Alan Pardew has said the gravy will be "lumpy" if Newcastle are not able to pull off a win in the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday.
Implying that defeat would ruin his Christmas, the Newcastle manager said: "Particularly around Christmas time when it's goodwill to all men, the gravy's going to be a bit lumpy if we lose."
Meanwhile, Sunderland boss Gus Poyet said victory for the Black Cats would be "fantastic" and "unique".
Northumbria Police says it is fully prepared ahead of its busiest weekend of the year. More officers than ever before will be on duty at Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby.
The game coincides with the last shopping weekend before Christmas - thousands of people will head to Newcastle city centre for last-minute shopping as well as festive events like pantomimes.
As Kenny Toal reports, police have changed their tactics and they are hoping the season of goodwill extends to both sets of supporters.
Nexus has confirmed that they will be providing extra Metro trains for the Tyne-Wear derby this weekend.Read the full story ›
Police say Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby will see more officers on duty than at any previous match.
The game is however being approached differently with no road closures and no marching of fans to the stadium.
Inspired by the generosity of Sunderland fans who raised thousands for charity following the tragic deaths of Liam Sweeney and John Alder, supporters are being asked to make it a day to remember for the right reasons.
It's the last weekend before Christmas and one of the biggest days in the football calendar for Newcastle and Sunderland fans, so the public are being warned of busy roads and car parks in Newcastle city centre.
Unlike previous derby days, Sunderland fans will not be separately escorted into St James' Park and police have not requested the council close roads.
Newcastle City Council are encouraging drivers to consider using car parks on the outskirts of the city centre and to plan ahead.
Percy Street in particular is likely to be extremely busy. As well as car parks on Percy Street there are others that people can use around the city centre. “There will be buses and Metros running on Sunday and we would encourage people to consider using them as well, instead of bringing their car into Newcastle."
There will be extra Metro trains for football supporters attending the game and extra services for Christmas shoppers.
The non-stop, direct Metro trains for away fans are not being run at the request of the police.
Ahead of their derby this Sunday we look back at the results of the last 10 years of Premier League matches between Newcastle and Sunderland:
- Wins for Newcastle = 5
- Wins for Sunderland = 4
- Draws = 5
Sunderland lead the tally for the last ten games with four wins compared to two for Newcastle:
- Feb 2014 - Newcastle vs. Sunderland 0-3
- Oct 2013 - Sunderland vs. Newcastle 2-1
- Apr 2013 - Newcastle vs. Sunderland 0-3
- Oct 2012 - Sunderland vs. Newcastle 1-1
- Mar 2012 - Newcastle vs. Sunderland 1-1
- Aug 2011 - Sunderland vs. Newcastle 0-1
- Jan 2011 - Sunderland vs. Newcastle 1-1
- Oct 2010 - Newcastle vs. Sunderland 5-1
- Feb 2009 - Newcastle vs. Sunderland 1-1
- Oct 2008 - Sunderland vs. Newcastle 2-1
Unlike previous years fans won't be escorted from the station, but streets will be lined with more officers than at any previous derbies.Read the full story ›
The nominations are now open for this year's North East Disability Sports Awards.Read the full story ›
Newcastle United have lost out on a place in the Capital One Cup semi-final after a 4-0 defeat to Spurs at White Hart Lane.Read the full story ›
Scarborough Council have agreed to contribute £135,000 to help host the Tour de Yorkshire Cycle Race in 2015.
Aiming to capitalise on the success of this year's Grand Depart in Yorkshire, the race has already attracted interest from giants of the sport in Sky and Shimano.