Boro game may not be a derby - but losing it feels like one
Newcastle United's encounters with Middlesbrough do not represent a local derby in the eyes of the majority of Toon fans.
But one thing is for certain when it comes to taking on Boro and that is that you don't lose a Tyne-Tees derby.
I might be wrong but playing Newcastle clearly means more to Middlesbrough fans then it will ever mean to us.
Evidence of that has been provided in abundance down the years, not least amidst Boro's brightest hour when they won their one and only piece of silverware for the first time in 128 years of trying.
The stage was set in Cardiff for Boro to lift the Carling Cup but instead of applauding their own team a cry of "Are you watching Newcastle" boomed around the Millennium Stadium.
As far as Newcastle fans are concerned, even at their lowest ebb, let alone the highest in the Champions League - chants about Middlesbrough simply don't occur unless the two teams are playing each other.
True, I do recall chants of "There's only one Gordon Strachan" back in May 1997 around the Bigg Market, but that only erupted as Boro and Sunderland were relegated on the same day as the current Teessiders boss Strachan sent the two clubs down as Coventry City manager.
So moving swiftly on, is the Tyne-Tees clash a derby in my opinion.
No it's not.
It might be to Boro fans but it certainly will never be here on Tyneside.
Let's hope we aren't the losers on Sunday night though.