Tyne-Wear derby debutant Lamine Kone knows of game's importance

Lamine Kone is well aware of the heated rivalry between Sunderland AFC and Newcastle United.

Tyne-Wear derby debutant Lamine Kone knows of game's importance
Above: Lamine Kone training ahead of Sunday's clash between Sunderland and Newcastle United| photo: The Chronicle

Sunderland AFC defender Lamine Kone is well aware of the importance of Sunday's fixture when the Black Cats take on bitter local rivals Newcastle United

Raring to go 

Kone has been an excellent addition to Sam Allardyce's side since his January move from Lorient and could be one of five potential Sunderland players to make Tyne-Wear derby debut on Sunday. 

On paper, this derby is expected to be one of the biggest in recent years with it looking increasingly likely that one of the two North-East sides will be relegated from the English top-flight. 

Only one point separates the two clubs ahead of kick-off but despite the pressure Kone is relishing the chance to make his derby bout at St James' Park

He told The Chronicle that he "can't wait to be there" as it is a "massive derby" and he knew exactly "how important it is" not just "for the club" but for "the people in this region". 

Kone continued saying he cant wait to be "out there on the pitch" and "hopefully get the win" and has seen previously "how important this derby is" ands has a vague idea from previous experiences what the "atmosphere is going to be like". 

Above: Lamine Kone in action ahead of Sunderland's match with Newcastle United on Sunday| Photo: Sunderland Echo
Above: Lamine Kone in action ahead of Sunderland's match with Newcastle United on Sunday| Photo: Sunderland Echo

Crucial three points 

Bragging rights for the Black Cats will be important on the day as they look to claim their seventh consecutive competitive win over The Magpies but the opportunity for a vital three points will too big to pass up. 

Allardyce's side currently sit outside the relegation zone above Norwich City on goal difference but if the Canaries where to avoid defeat to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, Sunderland will be thrown right back in it. 

Kone said that it was important for both the club and the players to "go there and get three points" and said that the club is in need of getting "some distance" between them and "the teams below us". 

Sunderland AFC take on Newcastle United at St James' Park on Sunday, March 20 with kick-off at 1:30pm BST.