ROKER Park, the scene of Cup conquest while Sunderland were powering their way to success over Manchester City in a Fifth Round Replay on Tuesday night, has now become the setting for a declaration of faith and intent by Sunderland supporters. On successive days they have been queuing for season tickets and seat tickets for Saturday’s home League game against Oxford United.
There has been a complete sell-out of reserved seating accommodation for Saturday. The big inducement for them is that season ticket-holders will be guaranteed a seat ticket for the Sixth Round tie against Luton on March 17 and early arrivals for the remaining seating accommodation on Saturday will receive voucher entitling them to a seat for the Cup-tie.
The number of vouchers available will be governed by the number of season tickets sold.
There are about 9,500 seats in the ground and Luton are entitled to one quart of that number. Season ticket-holders have the next claim before the number of vouchers available can be determined.
The waves of enthusiasm set up by Cup progress has made Sunderland’s feat and prospects the big talking point at all points in the North-East.
But Cup football has been declared a forbidden topic by Manager Bob Stokoe as he prepares his players for the task of winning League points to ensure the earliest possible climb away from the lower reaches of the Second Division.
Yesterday’s sauna baths for the first team pool to ease away the knocks and bruises of their Tuesday night exercise were followed by a full training routine today under the direction of trainer-coaches Arthur Cox and Billy Elliott.
Doubts about the availability of Ron Guthrie, who has a thigh strain, and Ian Porterfield, who has cracked a bone in the little toe of his right foot, remain and are not likely to be resolved until shortly before the game.
David Young, who has missed three games since being injured against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough three weeks ago, had a warming-up outing with the Reserves at Scunthorpe on Tuesday night, and now back in full training, will be on call for Saturday if changes are necessary.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on March 1 1973.