Having been born in the area and spent the majority of his professional career with the Black Cats, the 22-year-old has admitted that he also knows what a positive result can do for the team's confidence.
"Being from up here I know how much it means to the fans," he told the club's official website. "When the fixtures come out the first ones they look for are the derbies.
"The games are always big and intense, but we've got players right through our squad who have been involved in derbies.
"It's an intense atmosphere and you can really feel it. These games are intense affairs and there's a lot of pressure, but they're the games you want to be involved in as a professional footballer."
Sunderland are currently 13th in the Premier League table.