Here’s what the Echo was reporting on Sunderland 10 years ago today.
ELLIOTT LINKED TO £2M MOVE
Stephen Elliott is wanted by both Birmingham City and Cardiff City.
Sunderland’s Championship rivals are hoping to tempt the Black Cats into selling the Republic of Ireland international for around the £2m mark.
The two clubs are aware that the striker has been used primarily on the right wing this season. And, taking that as a suggestion that perhaps the current Sunderland management don’t have full faith in his abilities as a front man, they are hoping to lure him away from the Stadium of Light.
Today, Black Cats manager Roy Keane would not be drawn on the subject, although he has recently said that he wants to keep his strongest possible squad fort he Championship run-in.
There’s no doubt that the Blues and the Bluebirds have checked out Elliott, but if there was to be a successful bid, it’s far more likely to come from the Midlands rather than Wales.
Cardiff are struggling for funds while Birmingham, buoyed by their table-topping form, will find the funds to make a tempting offer for the player.
Keane remains focused more on bringing players in than letting them go.
He said: “I was talking with a player very recently, but those talks broke down last night and that one’s not going to happen I’m afraid. So I am talking to players and we just have to wait to see what happens.”
Rumours that Sunderland are after Manchester United striker Alan Smith won’t go away.
And claims that the Black Cats are pursuing Liverpool full-back Stephen Warnock and Colchester’s Greg Halford seem to have some grounding in fact, too.
Sunderland are among the clubs who are monitoring with interest developments over Plymouth left-back Tony Capaldi, who is out of contract this summer.
But the Sunderland manager is understandably reluctant to be drawn on the arrival or departure of players when the outcome of any decisions is still up in the air.
He did confirm that Sunderland are not chasing Celtic defender Darren O’Dea.
He added: “I don’t want to get dragged into too much talk about comings and goings. What I can say is that I’m not expecting anyone to arrive today. I might have more news by the weekend but the fact is there’s nothing to report at this moment in time.”
EDWARDS GRATEFUL FOR FERGUSON’S HELP
Sir Alex Ferguson played a secret role in bringing Carlos Edwards to Sunderland.
Edwards revealed today that Black Cats’ manager Roy Keane had consulted his former Old Trafford mentor before pushing through a £1.5m deal.
The Trinidad & Tobago international played alongside Fergie’s son Darren at Wrexham and Keane asked for the Manchester United chief’s opinion ahead of his swoop for Luton’s flying winger.
Edwards said: “I was amazed when I heard that Sir Alex Ferguson had recommended me to Roy Keane – it is very flattering. I played alongside Darren for five years at Wrexham and Sir Alex came to watch us a few times. I remember meeting him once when he came into the dressing room after a game.
“But for someone like him to speak to the gaffer and tell him good things about me is just fantastic. I’m really pleased, and I am just glad that Roy Keane has given me the chance to come here and move my career forward.”
Edwards made his first Sunderland start in last weekend’s 1-0 home win over Ipswich Town, a triumph that carried the Black Cats to within one point of the play-offs.
A difficult trip to Sheffield Wednesday lies ahead this Saturday and with the three teams immediately above Keane’s men also away from home – Cardiff visit 10th-placed Wolves, Stoke go to third-placed Preston and Colchester have a local derby at Ipswich – a positive result for Sunderland may spark a decisive move up the Championship.
Edwards said: “We’re in an excellent position and we need to keep our momentum going this weekend. Sheffield have had a great run themselves in the last few weeks and will carry a fair amount of confidence inti the game. There are going to be more than 6,000 Sunderland fans there on Saturday, which is absolutely unbelievable. We will all be doing our best to give them something to smile about.