Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has quashed talk his feud with Sam Allardyce is alive and well ahead of the meeting with Sunderland.
The Spaniard clashed with the now Black Cats manager during his early days in England and Allardyce has since laid into the former Liverpool boss in his autobiography.
However, in the build-up to Sunday’s huge Tyne-Wear, the tacticians’ animosity towards one another would appear to have eased, Allardyce claiming the newly appointed Newcastle boss is one of the best coaches in world football.
Benitez is also eager to put any problems with Allardyce to one side and instead concentrate on a clash which could have a huge bearing on who survives in the Premier League this season.
When asked about their relationship, Benitez said: “I am a professional, he is a professional. The main thing is the players on the pitch.
“I was away two and a half years (at Real Madrid and Napoli), so I did not have the chance to meet him again. I am concentrating on our players.”