Papiss Cisse has promised to work harder against Sunderland, as the Newcastle forward is still waiting to score his first goal in the Tyne-Wear derby.
The striker has admitted that last season's game took him by surprise as there was a clear change in tempo from regular Premier League games to the derby.
He told the Chronicle: "Last season when I played in the game against Sunderland it was difficult for me.
"It was early in my career. Now, though, I know what this game is all about.
"I remember my first derby. We were losing 1-0 and the manager called for Shola [Ameobi]. He came on and saved us. The fans celebrated so much to see a 1-1 draw.
"That was the moment I knew how important the game was. This year I will do better."
He added: "I also think the Sunderland game is one for Shola.
"If the manager picks me on the pitch I will try with everything I have. Maybe I will score as well in the game.
"Shola loves to score in this game so we will see."
Ameobi has scored nine goals in the Tyne-Wear derby, only two goals off the record held by Jackie Milburn.