"They are all Boro fans who have grown up in the area and they all know exactly what these derby games mean to the supporters.
"They know how important it is for local pride that we do well against Sunderland and they will be trying even harder than usual to get a positive result.
"There is a very different pressure about them because there is so much at stake and so much expectation from the fans but that is what you play football for, games with a special atmosphere.
"We are unbeaten in the derbies so far this season and that is good but it will feel a lot better if we can get our first win, and we know that if we play the way we can then we can win it. We are confident of that."