Tyne-Wear passion key for Carver

John Carver believes his and his staff's passion for Newcastle United will reflect in a committed derby performance against Sunderland.

Newcastle United head coach John Carver has demanded his side play with appropriate passion when they take on arch rivals Sunderland on Sunday.

The Tyneside club visit Wearside having lost the last four meetings with Sunderland, who claimed a 1-0 victory at St James' Park in December.

Carver - who has taken the novel approach of preparing for the contest at St James' rather than the club's training ground - believes the presence of Newcastle natives on the club's staff has helped transmit the importance of the game to his players.

And Carver said: "The players know what the derby means. With the staff - most are local - they know what it's like and what to expect.

"Any team of mine playing against a Sunderland side will never lack for effort or enthusiasm. My staff and I will be driving them on.

"We wanted to get the players into the stadium for training this morning, into a good environment. Our preparation has been different."

Newcastle have been severely hampered by injury problems this season, however, Carver did have a rare positive update on that front.

He added: "All of our international players have come back in one piece. Mehdi Abeid will be in the squad. It's too early for Rolando Aarons."