'I feel sorry' - Sunderland legend launches unprovoked attack on Newcastle United fans ahead of FA Cup clash

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Where Newcastle United fans will be sat at the Stadium of Light has been a major talking point ahead of the FA Cup tie with Sunderland.

Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips has blasted the 'crazy decision' that will see Newcastle United supporters reside in a premium hospitality area as part of their 6,000 ticket allocation for Saturday's FA Cup third round tie.

The Magpies will visit the Stadium of Light for the first time since October 2015 this weekend and much of the build-up to the eagerly anticipated tie has surrounded a decision to put black and white banners around the 'Black Cats Bar' area where around 700 Newcastle fans will be placed.

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Banners with the slogans 'Ho'way the Lads' and 'Keep the black and white flag flying' replaced Sunderland focused banners ahead of the game - although they were quickly replaced as Sunderland issued an apology after images were put online over the last 48 hours.

Former Black Cats striker Phillips, who scored four goals in six derby appearances against Newcastle, believes Magpies supporters will 'absolutely destroy that bar' if the result goes against their side and admitted he 'felt sorry' for any stewards working in the area during the game.

He told talkSPORT: “If they hadn't taken them down, the Newcastle fans certainly would have. I find it amazing, sometimes Sunderland do things where you just kind of scratch your head. The last game at the Stadium of Light, Newcastle fans smashed the toilets up in the away end.

“They’ve not played each other for eight or nine years and with the pressure as well imagine if Sunderland win the game, Newcastle fans will absolutely destroy that bar. There will be no stopping them.

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"I feel sorry for the stewards in there. It's just a crazy decision. They could have shut the bar for the game and kept the two tiers. Just get the fans in, watch the game and get them straight out. Let’s just hope the game goes off well, nothing like that happens and we enjoy a good spectacle of a football match.”

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