Sunderland's executive director Charlie Methven has hinted Newcastle United will receive a reduced ticket allocation for next month's Checkatrade Trophy clash.
The Magpies' under-21 side will visit the Stadium of Light on Januray 8, with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs.
Competition rules state that away fans should be allocated at least ten per cent of the ground's capacity, which in Sunderland's case works out at just under 5,000.
But, amid fears of crowd trouble, Methven believes that figure is 'a bit high'.
"The rules of the competition are that the away team gets ten per cent of the stadium capacity," said Methven, speaking on BBC Newcastle's Total Sport.
"In our case that is just under 50,000, which would mean more or less getting 5,000 tickets and Newcastle have asked us for that allocation.
"I think our view and the view of our internal security team is that's maybe a bit high."
Tickets for the tie have been priced at £15 for adults and £5 for under 16s and over 65s.
And while tickets went on sale to Sunderland fans on Friday morning, Newcastle have not yet received an allocation for the game.
According to Methven, discussions are still ongoing.
"There's a discussion going on with the police and with Newcastle United about finding the right balance, about having a great atmosphere inside the ground," added Methven.
"Stewart (Donald) and I are not at all fans of the whole idea of banning away fans or anything like that.
"Away fans are part of what makes the atmosphere and they want to follow their team.
"At the same time it's a question of balance and making sure we can provide a really secure environment so that everyone can enjoy the game."