Halom injury gives Stokoe a headache

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THERE could be another blow to manager Bob Stokoe’s hopes of keeping Sunderland’s Cup team together right through to the Semi-Final against Arsenal at Hillsborough on Saturday week. Centre forward Vic Halom looks like missing the Roker game against Bristol City through a badly bruised toe, though the final decision will not be made until tomorrow.

After Tuesday night’s win over Carlisle United he needed treatment for a bruised calf, too, but the bruising of his left big toe has proved the more troublesome. “He has been told to rest up at home,” said Mr Stokoe, “I will not be seeing him again today. He could not bear to pull a shoe on yesterday and I’m afraid he must be a very doubtful starter.

“I’m not ruling him out completely, however, because there could be a quick improvement in the next 24 hours. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Dennis Tueart, who has been a target for tough treatment in the last few games and was left very sore after punishing tackles on Tuesday night, is greatly improved and now seems certain to hold his place.

“I want to make as little change as possible,” said Mr Stokoe. “Since I came to Sunderland no game has depressed me as much as the Reserve’s performance last night. If Vic Halom has to stand down I will need to have a re-think on the situation.”

He also said that the unhappy ending of John Hughes’s first-class career and the injury to Halom brings home the shortage of experienced forwards. He has not disguised the fact that he is on the look-out for the type of players required to boost the first team pool in this department and as recently as Saturday was up in Scotland on a vetting mission. But he has so far made it clear that nothing was imminent in this time.

This attitude appears to be changing however. “I think we will have to take another look at the position and it may be that we will be acting quicker than we intended to.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on March 29 1973.