Argus Talking Sport: Watson’s return can turn on full promotion power

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IT now seems certain that Sunderland will be turning on their full promotion power for the first home game of the season against Orient at Roker Park on Saturday (3.00).

Dave Watson, whose commanding play could have tipped the balance of power Sunderland’s way in last week’s “derby” against Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park, is already booked to return at 0.9, needing only the confirmation of a final check.

His non-appearance last week was a disappointment, but the decision not to risk him without the absolute guarantee that he was clear of his ankle injury could pay big dividends. The ‘derby’ game emphasised in absence, his value to the attack .... the extra week’s treatment and training should ensure that he can carry on from here without any setbacks.

He has been able to put in his full quota of work at the Washington New Town training centre and Manager Alan Brown is confident that he will be on call for Saturday.

With Watson on duty, there will still be one change from the line-up originally announced for last week’s game. This will be at No. 10, where John Lathan, named as substitute, will switch with Jimmy Hamilton, who will be on the trainers bench when the game starts.

The probable line-up is: Montgomery, Malone and Bolton, Horswill, Pitt and Porterfield, McGiven, Kerr, Watson, Lathan and Tueart. Substitute, Hamilton.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on August 17 1972.