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Gutierrez: Squad ready for derby

Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez has insisted that the whole squad understand the importance of the upcoming Wear-Tyne derby.

The Magpies travel to Sunderland for their next match following the international break and they will be hoping to bounce back with a win after their 3-0 defeat to Manchester United last time out.

Gutierrez, 29, who joined the club from Real Mallorca in 2008, believes that his team-mates must remain focused when they visit the Stadium of Light if they are to come away with a positive result.

"I understand what it means. It does not matter if you play well or the team plays fantastic football. The fans will want the three points. All of the players feel the same," Gutierrez told the Evening Chronicle.

"We know they will put us under pressure - as will their fans. So it will be really important to be really focused. If we concede goals like we did in the last game it is going to be impossible to take something from there.

"The good thing is we have the chance to work. We have the chance to take out the things we did wrong from the last game and be better. We cannot make the same mistakes again."

With the Argentina international keen to give the city cause for celebration by securing victory, he concedes that the task will not be an easy one.

"We want the city to have a party and we want to make sure we can be invited to that party by winning," he said. "We want to win for the city and be involved in the celebrations by getting three points.

"We know it will not be easy. Sunderland are a good side and last season they did well. They have made some big signings since last time too, so we have to be focused. All the derbies are different and you cannot expect the same as last year or the year before or two years ago."

Gutierrez was made captain for Newcastle's defeat to United, in the absence of compatriot Fabricio Coloccini. And the former Mallorca man is hoping his international colleague will be passed fit for the trip to Wearside.

"Hopefully, Colo will rejoin training next week and then he will be fit for the game," he said. "We know the players who have played this year like Perchie [James Perch] and Willo [Mike Williamson] are doing really great for the team. We do not have a big squad so we need all of our players back."

Meanwhile, Steven Taylor is also keen to rejoin the squad in time for the Sunderland clash. The defender has been out of action after picking up a strain against Reading but after extra work on the training pitch, the former England Under-21 international looks set to return to the first team.

"The main thing for me is being 100 per cent fit for the Sunderland game," Taylor told the club's official website. "I didn't want to prepare for that match carrying any little niggles or anything like that.

"The medical staff have been spot on - like they always are - and hopefully taking that little bit of extra time on the injury will enable me to be fit for the game at the Stadium of Light.

"I'm due back in full training next Tuesday, a full five days before the derby, and until then I'll keep on top of my fitness and conditioning work while a lot of the lads are away on international duty."


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