IF DAVID Vaughan’s missus is scratching her head for stocking fillers, then a DVD of April’s meeting with the Magpies should be pencilled onto the letter for Santa.
Six months on from Vaughan’s stunning strike at St James’s Park, the midfielder still hasn’t got a copy of the 3-0 victory over Newcastle.
The softly-spoken 30-year-old smiles and says he has watched a re-run of the goal “a few times”, yet is keen to add more memorable moments to his Sunderland career before putting together a highlights reel.
“I saw Sessy (Stephane Sessegnon) breaking and made a run for him,” Vaughan says as he recalls Sunderland’s famous third goal.
“The ball sat up nicely for me and I just thought to give it a go.
“It went in and it was a great moment for me.
“I don’t think I’ve ever hit a sweeter one. One or two might come close, but none as important as that.
“That was probably the best moment in a Sunderland shirt for me.
“So hopefully, if I can get the opportunity, I can help the team win again, if not score.”
April’s win on Tyneside – a first over Newcastle in four-and-a-half years – proved to be the platform for Sunderland’s successful survival bid after a nine-game winless run had plummeted the Black Cats towards the drop zone.
Sunderland’s desperation for three points on Sunday is arguably greater, with Gus Poyet’s side cast adrift at the Premier League’s basement.
But Vaughan hopes the unique atmosphere of a Wear-Tyne derby will prove to be the perfect tonic for Sunderland by banishing their relegation fears.
Vaughan said: “Obviously we were under a bit of pressure in April, but we had a good result then so hopefully we can reproduce that on Sunday.
“Like then, there’s a bit of tension, but also excitement. We’re looking forward to the game and putting in a performance.
“We need something to kick-start our season and get that belief there.
“If we can win against our local rivals, then everyone will be happy on Monday morning.
“It’s probably a good thing we’re playing Newcastle. You don’t need to get yourself up for the game, everyone is buzzing for it.
“Hopefully that will work in our favour.
“If we can get a couple of wins or good results, then the belief comes in and then we can hopefully move up the table.”
Vaughan realises though that fans will perceive these as more empty words after six successive Premier League defeats.
The Welsh international says those on the terraces deserve more for their support than a season in which Sunderland have exhausted the patience of their followers.
“The supporters haven’t had a great deal to shout about this season,” he added.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who the manager is, it’s the players who go out on the pitch.
“We’ve got to try to give a little bit back and do better than we have been doing.
“Of course you sympathise with them.
“They come to watch us win and play well, and too often, we haven’t been doing that.”