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The Newcastle manager has spoken of his desire to see the Tyne-Wear derby remain in the Premier League next season, and has praised Paolo Di Canio ahead of Sunday's game

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has revealed he hopes fierce rivals Sunderland remain in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby.

The Magpies are five points clear of Sunderland in the league, who in turn are level on points with Wigan who currently occupy the final place in the relegation zone.

The 51-year old says it is important the Black Cats don’t get relegated from the division, as the Tyne-Wear derby helps raise the profile of football in the north-east of England.

Pardew told reporters: "Sometimes, the north-east gets a little bit left to one side. The Manchester clubs get a lot of attention and London clubs do, and it's nice that we have raised the profile of north-east football.

"For me, this fixture is important because I think it's great for the Premier League to have Newcastle and Sunderland in the division - and I hope we both are for next year.

"We are both fighting for that at the moment.

"I have said before that this fixture has a little bit too much of a personal level of intensity.

"Actually, it's a game of football, that's what it is, and hopefully the better team will win on Sunday.

"We are in good form. We have got some players coming back who make us a little bit stronger, and I think it's a tough game for Sunderland."

The Newcastle manager also praised Paolo Di Canio’s professionalism ahead of the derby, and has warned that both he and the new Sunderland boss need to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner on Sunday.

"He's a winner and I have got no problem with anything he has done or said since he has been at Sunderland in terms of how he has conducted himself with us," the 51-year old continued.

"He is very professional and that's how he will be on the sideline, I am sure.

“He knows the spotlight will be on him, as it is on me as Premier League managers, and we have to conduct ourselves in the right manner.”