MANAGER Bob Stokoe sums up Sunderland’s attitude to their task at Elm Park tomorrow night, when they are due to take on Fourth Division club Reading in an F.A. Cup (Fourth Round) Replay when he says “Of all the teams playing away in Cup Replays this week, I would rate our chances the best. All the shouting is over now. We know the job we have to do and it is up to us to get on with it.
“We must not fail at this hurdle, because we want to give our supporters the next game against Liverpool or Manchester City. They have been wonderful to us and I’m sure they will be there in strength at either Anfield Road or Maine Road. We don’t want to let them down and I am sure we won’t.
Looking back to Reading’s incredible survival against a second half storm which would, with any luck on Sunderland’s part, have ruled out the necessity of tomorrow’s replay, Mr Stokoe said: “I’m still not critical of Saturday’s effort. That was a tremendous second half assault. We did everything right, but we could not get one to stick.”
The formation in which Sunderland will be tackling tomorrow night’s task will not be known until tomorrow. Mr Stokoe said shortly before leaving for Reading today that he was sure both Dave Watson and Dick Malone were going to be fit, for both trained yesterday without ill effect.
Bobby Kerr is coming along well, too. He did a little training yesterday afternoon and had further treatment last night. “We’ll know better what his chances are tomorrow and I am hopeful,” said Mr Stokoe.
Jackie Ashurst, who played for the last 15 minutes as substitute on Saturday, in the party, which is built up to 15 by the inclusion of Richie Pitt, Keith Coleman and Joe Bolton.
The party is: Montgomery, Malone, Coleman, Guthrie, Bolton, Horswill, Watson, Pitt, Young, Ashurst, Kerr, Hughes, Lathan, Porterfield and Tueart.
LOFTUS ROAD GAME
On their way down for the game the Sunderland party will be calling in at Loftus Road to see the game between Queen’s Park Rangers and Huddersfield Town, both of whom are due at Roker Park in the next few weeks.
After the game, an Arsenal representative will contact Richie Pitt and Keith Coleman, who will be making their way to Highbury, where they are due to start a month’s loan on Thursday.
Reading may be without the services of two of their key players. Tony Wagstaffe who damaged ankle ligaments shortly after half-time on Saturday is rated a doubtful starter, while defender Will Dixon is recovering from a damaged shoulder.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on February 6 1973.