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Oct, 16, 2012

Mignolet relying on home support

Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet believes his side need to use their fans as an advantage in the upcoming Wear-Tyne derby.

• Eleven Sunderland derby heroes
• Blog: Newcastle derby-day legends XI

Mignolet, 24, is keen to note a marked difference in atmosphere at the Stadium of Light this season, something he credits the club's fans for providing.

And the Belgium international feels his team need to use this atmosphere to their favour if they want to get a result.

"The noise inside the stadium at kick-off is unbelievable really. I still remember the first derby I played, I was chatting to my defenders but they couldn't hear me, it's that loud," he said.

"It will be tight and the supporters will be behind us so hopefully we can get a good result again.

"In the home games we've played we've felt the difference in comparison with last season. At both ends the home fans are behind us now and that can only help us in getting more points at home."

With Sunderland keen to avenge the 1-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of their rivals last season, Mignolet accepts the visit of Newcastle is a big fixture, but one he intends to approach in a normal way.

"It's always a big game, everybody expects a lot of it and it will be no different this time. It's a totally different game. You feel it during the week leading up to the game," he said.

"But you can't get carried away with the situation, what everyone wants from you and the pressure there is. But it's just a normal game, three points to win, three points to lose and that's the way you have to deal with it as a professional footballer.

"You can't get carried away with things outside of the football, it's just a game you have to try and win. We have to focus on what's happening on the pitch and not anything that's happening around us."

"As footballer players have to look to focus on trying to win the game. That's the only thing we can do."

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