Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew praised his team despite their 1-0 derby defeat to Sunderland.
He said his team lost because they were trying to push for a win.
Adam Johnson's late winner condemned Newcastle United to a fourth successive derby defeat for the first time in their history as Sunderland earned a deserved 1-0 victory.
Johnson struck in the 90th minute following a pacy counter-attack to give the Black Cats only their third win of the season.
The away side created the better chances over the game with Steven Fletcher striking the crossbar and Connor Wickham, Jordi Gomez and Johnson all missing good opportunities to open the scoring.
The victory moves Sunderland up to 14th, four points below Newcastle who remain 9th.
Adam Johnson has won the Christmas bragging rights for Sunderland with a 90th minute goal in the derby match at St James Park.
The game ended Newcastle 0 - 1 Sunderland.
Fans of both Newcastle United and Sunderland gave a round of applause on the 17th minute of the derby match at St James Park.
Their standing ovation honoured the Newcastle supporters John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who died on board flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine.
Screens read 'In Loving Memory' and added: "Special thanks to SAFC supporters and staff for your heartfelt fundraising efforts and support."
However, the rivalry has not gone away - the applause was followed by the chant 'We hate Sunderland'.
Most Sunderland fans have arrived at St James Park without any trouble, after a campaign for peace out of respect for the victims of MH17.Read the full story ›
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.