Moussa Sissoko

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

From the moment he signed for Newcastle United, Moussa Sissoko was made aware of what the Tyne-Wear derby means to the supporters of both teams.

And now the France international can't wait to experience it for himself when Sunderland come to St. James' Park on Sunday.

The January signing from Toulouse has made a massive impact during his short time on Tyneside, scoring three times in nine Barclays Premier League appearances, and will face the Black Cats for the first time this weekend.

But he's already heard all about the passion which surrounds the big match and is looking forward to sampling the ferocious atmosphere.

 "When I arrived, the first thing I was told was how important this match is," he told nufc.co.uk.

"It's important for the Club and important for the fans as well, so I know pretty much what to expect.

"It's going to be a big match, it's going to be an important match and I'm looking forward to it."

As if beating the old enemy isn't enough, Sissoko also believes that three points on Sunday would all but guarantee safety for United, who are currently 13th in the table.

"The coach said before the Fulham match that probably another two victories would be enough," he said.

"Perhaps it would almost be in the bag if we could get that and move ourselves onto 39 points with five matches remaining.

"But there are still six matches so we can still pick up some points. The important thing is to make sure we lift ourselves up in the league."

Click here to buy a Newcastle United shirt with Sissoko's name and number on the back