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Thursday 20 July 2017

Gutierrez targets derby boost

Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez is desperate to celebrate his return from cancer with a derby victory over Sunderland
Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez is desperate to celebrate his return from cancer with a derby victory over Sunderland

Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez is hoping to celebrate his return to first-team action with a much-needed derby victory over struggling Sunderland.

The 31-year-old Argentinian has appeared as a substitute in each of the Magpies' last three games following his return from testicular cancer, and has been welcomed warmly back into the fold on and off the pitch.

However, he has finished on the losing side on each occasion and is desperate to end that run as Newcastle attempt to bounce back from an unprecedented four successive defeats by their arch-rivals at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

The Black Cats are currently fighting for their Barclays Premier League lives once again, but Gutierrez knows that will count for little this weekend.

He told the Chronicle: "In the last few years, they have been in a bad place and they beat us. Listen, it doesn't matter what position you are in for a derby. It's a derby, it's different.

"We know what the fans think of this type of game. We know now it's a few games where we have not beaten them.

"It's away, so we have to be ready and focused. We want to get a win for the fans. They deserve it, so we are going to work hard and start from the beginning.

"We can't start late in the derby because we want three points."

Gutierrez last played in the derby in April 2013 on a bad day for Tyneside as Sunderland ran out 3-0 winners at St James' Park.

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