SUNDERLAND manager, Mr Bob Stokoe, was a relieved man this morning when he found that the weather threat to tonight’s game against Huddersfield Town at Roker Park had disappeared completely. “The pitch is in great condition,” he said “and I am delighted that there is now nothing to stop the game from being played.”
The slight doubt about Ron Guthrie’s fitness has gone too. He received a blow on the head on Saturday which has left him holding his place in an unchanged side.
A big turn-out of supporters is expected to give a rousing reception to the team which has carried Sunderland through to the F.A. Cup Final for the first time in 36 years and only the third time in the history of the club. The players have a “Thank you” message for the fans too, and they want to show their appreciation of the tremendous backing which they have enjoyed all the way through the competition and especially at Hillsborough on Saturday.
After their work-out at Washington New Town yesterday, the Sunderland players completed their preparation for tonight’s match at Roker Park today. And they will be showing the same keenness to play winning football that has brought them seven points from their last four League matches.
This recent run of success has taken all the pressure off Sunderland so far as their nearness to the danger zone is concerned. But they still have a lot to play for, because under current contracts there are bonuses to be claimed for League position. There was a pay-out of about £40,000 for finishing in fifth position last season and they can do better still by improving upon that rating this season.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on April 10 1973.