Paolo Di Canio believes Sunderland can become a bigger club than Newcastle, and says he will be a 'donkey' if he is unable to keep them in the Premier League this season.
Di Canio is preparing for his first Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday after replacing Martin O'Neill as Sunderland manager, and is desperate for a win to ease his side's relegation worries.
Sunderland are currently only outside the drop zone on goal difference, but Di Canio is convinced they will stay up and is ready for the criticism he will receive if they fail.
"I'm not worried," he said. "It's not just about trying or hoping in life, it's about doing things.
"If it doesn't work, Di Canio is a donkey - bye bye. But I'm sure Di Canio is a stallion and I will deliver the right job for my players in the future."
Di Canio has ambitious plans for the future and insists Sunderland can eclipse Newcastle and establish themselves as the biggest club in the North-East.
"Not now, but in the future? Yes. Absolutely yes. The plan is amazing. First we have to make sure we stay up, that will be okay. If we do, it will not happen in a week or a month, it will be one or two seasons.
"Newcastle is a massive club but Sunderland is too. The problem is this massive club has not been used in the right way.
"There are 40-50,000 followers every game and this club has spent money so it is not acceptable where it has been for the last two years. With the right organisation, plan and policy in the future, things will change to give us a chance.
"We want to fight for something other than just avoiding relegation."
What will be the outcome in the match Newcastle vs Sunderland?