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Newcastle United news: McClaren's biggest derby dilemma and why Mitrovic is a 'smart' Alek

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren wasn't in a talkative mood ahead of the Wear-Tyne derby – but there are no shortage of talking points ahead of Sunday's game.

Newcastle United's head coach labelled the fixture as being "just another game" in yesterday's Press conference.

McClaren did talk about striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and his disciplinary record in previous derbies.

But the 54-year-old was less keen to discuss his biggest selection dilemma ahead of the 153rd meeting between the two sides.

Ryan Taylor was the last Newcastle player to score a derby winner against Sunderland.

And Taylor – who famously lifted a free-kick over the home wall in the August 2011 meeting between the two sides at the Stadium of Light – was back on Tyneside last weekend ahead of the derby.

The 31-year-old has spoken about how his visit to the dressing room has convinced him that United can end their losing run.