CLIMAX to Sunderland’s cup festival week comes at Maine Road on Saturday when they will be backed by up to 10,000 supporters in their FA Cup (Fifth Round) challenge to Manchester City. But there could be a share of cup glory for the youth team tomorrow night, when they take on Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final at Roker Park (7.30) and for the Reserves on Wednesday night, when they visit York City in a North Midlands League Cup quarter-final replay.
Manager Bob Stokoe, directing operations for the last time from St Anne’s today before moving into his own house in Sunderland tomorrow takes special pleasure in this promise of success, chiefly for the excitement which it brings for supporters.
“They are the people who will take this club back to the big-time” he says “and if we are pleasing them we must be doing our job well.”
The only question of team selection for the Maine Road task revolves on the progress made by David Young, who has been nursing an ankle injury for ten days.
“I’ve said that David will probably be given an outing with the Reserves on Wednesday to test his fitness,” he said “but obviously he won’t be turning out if there is the slightest doubt about his fitness.
“We have a lot of football to play before the end of the season and I won’t be taking unnecessary risks.
“The type of training we have been doing has produced good results and we will not be breaking from it just because we have this big game coming up. I don’t want to be leaving anything on the track that I am getting on the pitch at the moment.”
His brief comment on the suggestion that Tottenham are showing interest in Dennis Tueart was: “I’m annoyed that this sort of thing should happen after we have given facilities for their representatives to watch us in action. Dennis is an exciting player and it does not surprise me that other people should be thinking the same thing. I am just very pleased indeed that we have him.”
The Sunderland first team pool will work though a full programme at Washington New Town tomorrow and we have a morning session on Wednesday before making an afternoon trip to Blackpool, where they will enjoy a change of air and routine before travelling on to Manchester.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on February 19 1973.