Steve Bruce is confident Sunderland will be up for it in the derby clash with Newcastle on Sunday.
The Black Cats are out for revenge after the 5-1 mauling by their bitter rivals at St James' Park in October.
They responded to that defeat by going on a four-match unbeaten run and now sit sixth in the table, and Bruce is looking for further points as he bids for a place in Europe.
While he is confident his side will perform at the Stadium of Light, he acknowledges it will be the team which handles the situation the best which will triumph.
Bruce said: "It has been a long, long three months waiting for it. As soon as the game finished, the one thing you do is look for when they are at our place and how can we restore a bit of pride?
"We have had a great response, which has got us where we are in the league.
"As far as I am concerned, it's never going to be just another game, but we have to treat it as a chance to get another three points on the table and cement the place we are in at the moment.
"It would set us up fantastically for the remainder if we could do it, and our home form over the last 18 months has been particularly good.
"We have waited for three months patiently to try to get our own back if we possibly can.
"It's upon us - let's hope we can go and perform on the day, and I am very, very confident that we will."
While Bruce's side were humbled 2-1 by League One Notts County in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, so were the Magpies, who slumped to a shock 3-1 defeat at League Two Stevenage.
Bruce added: "Whatever has happened in the past - both teams have had horrible cup defeats - form goes out of the window.
"It's a derby game. Who handles the occasion will be the victors on the day, and I sincerely hope it is us."
Meanwhile, the Sunderland boss has backed Darren Bent to rediscover his lethal touch in front of goal - and hopefully against the Magpies.
The 26-year-old England international took his total for the season to 11 with a penalty in the defeat to Notts County.
However, he also passed up a series of opportunities to add to his tally, having scored just once in his previous seven games.
But Bruce, who saw his £10million signing plunder 25 goals in all competitions last season, is confident the former Tottenham man will find his touch again.
He said: "As I have always said, he has had a terrific 20 months with us and this could be his occasion.
"He has missed a few, but every striker goes through that. He has had such an impeccable record since he came here with the conversion of chances he has had.
"He has probably had more in the last two games than he did all of last season, and he managed to score 20-odd goals.
"He will be fine, and I hope this one (against Newcastle) is his game."
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