Sunderland chairman Quinn ready for Newcastle showdowns

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn admits he's looking forward to the club's big derby fixtures against Premiership rivals Newcastle United next season.

Quinn said: "I played a lot of derbies in Manchester and had not much luck in those ones at all, and I played in Arsenal v Spurs derbies as a younger player.

"But the Newcastle v Sunderland derby, the place goes ga-ga for about three weeks beforehand and then, depending on how you have done, if you have been lucky enough to win, your place stays ga-ga and the other place goes a little bit depressed.

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"It is just colossal. To me, the first time we beat Newcastle over there and Ruud Gullit was the manager, we did not have many fans in the stadium that night, but I just could not believe the aftermath days later.

"People were writing songs about it here in Sunderland, it was amazing. You just feel this is so important to the people.

"Regardless of the outcome, the rivalry now that we have with Newcastle is a different kind of rivalry these days.

"Football has changed, there are new people involved at both clubs and I think it can become the leading sporting event of the region.

"Maybe the Great North Run organisers might not agree with that, but I just think it might be an opportunity for us now to make this derby bigger to everybody else.

"We all know what it's like in this region but, perhaps with Sam Allardyce and Roy Keane involved, we will hopefully show the rest of the footballing world how big it actually is.

"It is something colossal to look forward to."

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