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Williamson: Toon must be mentally prepared

Newcastle lost 1-0 to Sunderland in the first Tyne-Wear derby of the season but are nine points ahead of Dick Advocaat's men, who sit just a point above the relegation zone with eight games remaining.

But Williamson told nufcTV: "You can look at history books or the form guide at the minute but I don't think it really matters - nothing really contributes apart from on the day, who turns up, keeps their cool and capitalises on any small margins.

"I think you can rip the form book up when it comes to that game.

"It's a great spectacle and I thoroughly enjoy playing in them; the atmosphere, the pressure and the intensity of it has always been brilliant.

"It's something to relish and hopefully we can get a positive result. It's all about keeping your composure and making sure you can play under that pressure.

"The atmosphere on the matchday is electric - fantastic for both sets of fans and players - and the games that I've played in definitely rank among the most important games.

"I've played in quite a few before and I know what it's all about. I know the meaning behind it.

"I think it affects people differently. It's up to the management whether they feel they have to pump certain players up or calm certain players down because everybody does about it differently but more than anything, it's just about preparation, making sure we're at optimum levels mentally and physically and making sure we all do our jobs."