Sunderland star keen to return against Newcastle

Richardson has missed the Black Cats’ last four games with a hamstring injury, but insists he is fit for the clash with the Magpies.

“It’s good to be back and no better game than the derby to come back,” Richardson told the Sunderland Echo.

“I’ve been up here long enough to know what it means to the Sunderland fans.

“The atmosphere is up there with the best I’ve known in my career so everyone would love to play, but that can’t happen.

“I had hoped to be ready for the Villa game but I got a little niggle and I had another scan.

“It showed there was still a bit of blood in there, so I had to take a few more days out.

“I’m a naturally fit lad and if the gaffer wanted me to play on Sunday, I would.

“But we’ve been looking really hard to beat and it’s up to the manager what he does and whether he wants to change things.”