Martin O'Neill hopes that he and Alan Pardew have learned a lesson
Last Updated: 18/10/12 8:29pm
O'Neill relishing derby challenge
Martin O'Neill is hoping that, along with Alan Pardew, he has learned a lesson from the previous North East derby between Sunderland and Newcastle United.
Sunderland welcome Newcastle to the Stadium of Light on Sunday, but there were ugly scenes when the two rivals last met at St James' Park in March.
Magpies boss Pardew celebrated the award of a penalty in front of O'Neill and his staff, and that sparked a confrontation between the two benches.
"A number of things can happen in the spur of the moment which you can be very embarrassed with and you can be very annoyed with yourself afterwards," said O'Neill.
"I just hope that both of us might be able to learn the lesson from the previous encounter."
O'Neill, who is a veteran of the Old Firm derby in Glasgow from his days as Celtic manager, admitted the intensity compared to a Tyne-Wear clash is similar.
He said: "I have been involved in quite a number of derby games, hardly that many bigger than the Glasgow ones between Celtic and Rangers, but for intensity, this is up there with any of them.
"I like the intensity of the games, as long as it doesn't go overboard, that's an important aspect to derby matches.
"Steve Walford, my coach, has with me experienced a lot of derby games and in particular, Celtic v Rangers games, and he felt the game at St James' Park matched that for intensity, and some of the games we had with Celtic and Rangers, so that speaks volumes for it."