Sunderland striker Fabio Borini says hiring Rafa Benitez will not enable Newcastle to win the Tyne-Wear derby.
The Magpies lost to Leicester on Monday in former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss Benitez’s first game in charge.
“Usually that’s our trick. We change the manager two games before, then we lose the first one and then we win the derby. They copied us.
“They have tried to do the same but I don’t think it will work,” 24-year-old Borini told BBC Newcastle.
“Benitez is a good manager. I was surprised because from Real Madrid to come to Newcastle in the position they are, it’s a big gap.”
Before current boss Sam Allardyce, Sunderland’s last three permanent managers – Paolo di Canio, Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat – won the derby in their second match in charge after losing their first.
And the Black Cats have the better record going into Sunday’s game at St James’ Park, having won the last six meetings between the sides.
Sunderland are currently 17th and above the Premier League places on goal difference, with the Magpies two places below them.
Borini continued: “Going towards a derby you need to feel what the fans are feeling. Because Sunderland and Newcastle are very close to each other in the league it makes it important because you can knock them down.”