Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has dismissed the idea he has a mental stranglehold over Newcastle heading into Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby.
But the 45-year-old did admit the clash between the fierce rivals could be the ‘turning point’ for his struggling Sunderland.
Poyet has been a one-man wrecking ball against Newcastle as a player with the former Uruguay international scoring six times against Newcastle as Chelsea and Tottenham player.
And that run has continued in his managerial career with Poyet the scourge of Newcastle in the FA Cup last season as the boss of Brighton.
But Poyet said past history will mean little when he welcomes Newcastle to his new home at the Stadium of Light.
Asked if he had a psychological edge over Newcastle counterpart Alan Pardew, Poyet told the Mirror: “No, I don’t think so.
“Sometimes things just don’t go for you. It happened to me with Brighton against Crystal Palace last season.”
But Poyet did admit he enjoyed his duels against Newcastle, recalling the days when he was a player feared by the Toon army and earned the ire of former Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson.
Former England boss Robson was said to have hated when his teams faced a Poyet-inspired side.
“It was difficult to blame him,” Poyet said. “He was a manager and there was this player who somehow always scored against him, so I suppose you would hate him. But it was hate because you wanted him in your side.
"I took it as a compliment – but it was an interesting statement!
“This fixture with Newcastle is massive, I love it, and it’s the only game I wish I could still play.
“This could totally be the turning point for us.”