Steven Taylor has conceded Newcastle United are in a relegation battle but is convinced the club can stave off the drop.
Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby, live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1, pits Newcastle against local rivals Sunderland at St James' Park in a game neither club can afford to lose.
Joe Kinnear's Toon side currently find themselves just two points off the drop zone, while Sunderland are in 12th but just three points above them.
Local-born Taylor is well aware Newcastle are in a scrap to retain their top-flight status and has urged his team-mates to give everything on derby day.
"The fact is we are in are in a relegation battle, which means now more than ever we have to be united," he told the Daily Express.
"I am convinced we will not go down because we have some great players, but we have to get out of this mess.
"I would also say the fans have to be patient. We were playing in the Champions League only a few seasons ago, but we are a long way off that now and it will take years for us to get back to that.
"The Sunderland game is always the one fixture I look for the second the fixtures are out. It is the biggest game of the season for everyone in these parts.
"We have to be up for the fight, because it will be a fight.
"We lost at their place earlier this season and that still hurts. It kills me."