The 24-year-old Belgium international has been arguably the Black Cats' stand-out player during a difficult campaign, but even his heroics have not been able to prevent the club from slipping into the thick of the scrap for top-flight survival.
Defeat at St James' Park would leave Paolo di Canio's men in deep trouble with just five games in which to save themselves, and when Mignolet looks around the dressing room, he finds that situation difficult to fathom.
Asked if he was surprised at their league position, he said: "Yes, if you see the individual qualities of every single player.
"Obviously, we didn't hope to be where we are now. With the qualities we have, we shouldn't be there."
However, Mignolet's belief that the players, whose performances so far this season cost former manager Martin O'Neill his job a little less than a fortnight ago, are better than results suggest means he is confident they can dig themselves out of a hole.
He said: "Yes, of course, that's fair enough to say. We have more than enough ability in the team to get the points we want before the end of the season."
If Sunderland are to boost their meagre tally of 31 points on Tyneside, Mignolet is likely to have to play a major part, just as he did in the last clash between the two sides at St James'.
The Belgian looked set to follow Thomas Sorensen into Wearside folklore when he saved Demba Ba's 83rd-minute penalty with the 10-man visitors leading through Nicklas Bendtner's successful first half spot-kick.
However, Shola Ameobi, who has so often played well against Sunderland, struck at the death to snatch a face-saving point and extend the Black Cats' wait for a win in enemy territory to 13 years.Sorensen, who kept out an Alan Shearer penalty as Sunderland won 2-1 on Tyneside in November 2000, is still revered in the city as a result, but his latest successor insists Sunday's game will not be about individual accolades.
Mignolet said: "It's not only the goalkeeper, it's the whole team. The fans look forward to this game all year long and it's very important for them.
"But then again, it's not really important to be a hero. At this moment, it's important to get the points and let's do that."
If Sunderland are to return home with something to show for their efforts, they may need a change of fortune with Mignolet having been beaten by two own goals and a fortuitous deflection in the last two games.
A clean sheet could prove invaluable, and that will be his initial aim.
He said: "Let's hope I can do that because the last couple of goals we have conceded from deflections, it's not really nice to concede like that.
"Let's hope we can now make sure we can get a clean sheet. That would be one part of the job done already, and then we will make sure we score a couple of goals."
Newcastle have made something of a habit of scoring late goals at St James' in recent weeks - Papiss Cisse's 71st-minute strike against Benfica on Thursday evening came relatively early by his standards - and the Black
Cats know they may have to be on their guard for 95 or 96 minutes if they are to emerge unscathed.
Mignolet said: "Exactly. They have scored a couple of goals in the last minute, we know that, so let's make sure we stay on our toes until the last whistle is blown."