Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill wants his players to keep their cool for today's derby with Newcastle United.

In the last two ­seasons Sunderland have had Titus ­Bramble, Phil ­Bardsley, Stephane Sessegnon and Lee Cattermole sent off as they have failed to win a game.

O'Neill said: "The key to winning is that we must stay cool. I am not ­saying that will be easy in such a passionate ­atmosphere but that is what we must aim for.

"They are intense affairs but I think the discipline becomes so important because if you can keep a reasonably cool head, then you will definitely have a better chance.

"If you do that you can keep a clearer head. But I am saying that and I should be taking the same advice.

"Hopefully, I can keep a clear head otherwise it will get animated on the touchline, for the want of a better word.

"The discipline aspect is very important - very important indeed particularly in derby games. I thought last season we might lose a player and the usual suspects might come to mind. You wouldn't expect ­Sessegnon to be sent off the pitch."