Newcastle United’s demolition of Norwich City has left Black Cats legend Niall Quinn fearing the worst for his old club ahead of the Wear-Tyne derby.
Steve McClaren picked up his first Premier League win since taking charge in the summer with the 6-2 rout of Norwich, a game watched closely by Sky Sports pundit Quinn.
It leaves Sunderland as the only side without a win ahead of the first derby clash of the season at the Stadium of Light at noon on Sunday.
Newcastle’s victory left winless Sunderland propping up the Premier League table and an awful lot riding on Sam Allardyce’s first home game in charge of the Black Cats.
And ex-player and chairman Quinn says it will be a real test of character for the Sunderland squad.
“Sunderland have to dig deep now,” said Quinn.
“Sam [Allardyce] will be required to get them into a different place, mentally.
“Newcastle are already in a great place going into it, and Sunderland will have to apply themselves to get there.
“Derby games are the sort of place where everything gets thrown out of the window, and it certainly won’t be as place for the faint hearted.
“But if you were Sunderland, you’d be worried after [the Norwich] result.”
Quinn added: “It is hard for a Sunderland man like myself to say this, but it was a special game to be at, and I am pleased that we [Sky] did it.
“I am pleased for Newcastle, and I am pleased for Steve McClaren because it was a special day for them.
“This result will help them a huge amount, as that doubt is gone.
“They have shown they are capable of putting a performance like that together, and proved they are a top team going forward when they want to be.
“Obviously the manager will want them to continue in that form.”