The Uruguayan insists that his players have put last weekend's 4-0 defeat at the hands of Swansea City behind them, and are "desperate" for a result against their rivals.
"The Swansea result was not easy to take and we had a couple of difficult days but now it looks more promising. It is a derby. We need a win and we need three points," he told reporters.
"We are desperate to do well against Newcastle and if we could beat them, then that would be perfect."
Sunderland go into the game in 19th place in the Premier League table, with three points from their eight matches played.