As well as looking to ease their Premier League relegation worries, the Black Cats are seeking to end their run of poor results against their bitter rivals.
Sunderland last defeated the Magpies four-and-a-half years ago, but they have not had away success in the fixture since November 2000 when Thomas Sorensen's late penalty save ensured a 2-1 victory.
Di Canio is aiming to put that right in his second game in charge of the team, and subsequently look to build on a positive outcome.
"The last win was in 2008 but away from home it is too long, 13 years," Di Canio said. "That's a long time.
"It would be fantastic to win again and give this feeling to a new generation - and also to the older generation because they have suffered enough already.
"I know what it means to win these games. It's always good to win these games at home - but you can imagine what it means away from home.
"Because when you love your team you prefer to win in front of 50,000 enemies in front of you and celebrate in their home."