Young hopes to be fit in time for Cup clash

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DAVID YOUNG is confident he will be fit to resume his role as sweeper in the Sunderland side to meet Manchester City in the F.A. Cup (Fifth Round) at Maine Road on Saturday week. Richie Pitt, who deputises for him on Saturday’s Wear–Tees “derby” at Roker Park, knows that he has this one chance to book his place for the Cup-tie and he does not mean to miss it.

Manager Bob Stokoe, who will have the last word, does not tip the balance either way. “I’ll be taking just one game at a time. All I want to be sure of is that we have the best man for the job in the line-up against Manchester City. That decision is more than a week away.”

Young’s immediate problem is to stage the quickest possible recovery from the ankle injury which led to him being stretchered from the field after four minutes in Saturday’s game against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. Under the watchful eye of physiotherapist John Watters he is making good progress.

“David’s ankle is responding very well to treatment” said Mr Stokoe “and he is confident he is going to be fit for next week. The Reserves have a game at York on Wednesday night and it will be an opportunity for him to prove his fitness.

I think he would have to play in that game to give himself any chance of being in the Cup side.”

“I will not be naming Saturday’s team until training finishes tomorrow, but Pitt for Young is the only certain change at the moment.”

“The Roker Park pitch looks like being in perfect condition for Saturday’s “derby. It has not been used since the Reading match and the level surface has not been made dangerous by frost.”

“For the last few days over-night frosts have eased by midday in the sun,” said Mr Stokoe. “That was how it was yesterday and we would have been able to play. I will give the team a little bit of training on it this morning just to get the feel of these conditions.

New dates are confirmed for four of Sunderland’s postponed League games. They are: Huddersfield (h) February 28, Carlisle United (h) March 27, Orient (a) April 30, Cardiff City (a) May 2. Their one outstanding fixture is the visit to Preston N.E. which was due to be made on the date of the Fifth Round tie at Maine Road.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on February 15 1973.