GUS POYET is desperate to remain a thorn in Newcastle's side.
The 45-year-old Uruguayan repeatedly thwarted the Magpies' ambitions during his playing days with Chelsea – for whom he scored both goals in a 2-1 FA Cup semi final victory at Wembley in April 2000 – and Tottenham to the extent that then manager Bobby Robson described him as a "menace" and once jokingly said he hated him.
On Sunday, he will lead his Sunderland side into derby battle with the old enemy at the Stadium of Light hoping to extend the hoodoo, although admitting there will be little he can do about it once the first whistle has blown.
Asked about his record against Newcastle, Poyet said: "Yes, but I'm not playing. My whole career in England has been always linked to Newcastle somehow for the good and the bad. I just hope the good ones continue and we can win the game.
"But I don't think it's going to be a game that's going to be won by me or by Alan Pardew. This game will be won on the pitch.
Sunderland defender Wes Brown could make a first competitive appearance for the club in almost 21 months.
The 34-year-old former Manchester United star, whose last senior game came against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup in January last year, is available after ridding himself off a calf injury sustained in pre-season.
Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng, who was ineligible to play against parent club Swansea last weekend, also returns as the Black Cats attempt to secure a first Premier League win of the season.
Poyet's fortunes against the men from St James' Park have remained positive during his managerial career to date with the South American having guided former club Brighton to FA Cup victory over the Magpies in each of the last two seasons.
Indeed, he boasts a 100pc record against Alan Pardew, and that is a statistic who would love to remain intact by the time he heads for home on Sunday evening. Poyet said: "I hope it doesn't finish now. One hundred per cent is not going to stay for ever, but if there was one time that we need to maintain that 100 per cent, this is it."