SAFC 10 YEARS AGO: Fantastic four v Wednesday, Miller’s future

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting on Sunderland 10 years ago today.

FANTASTIC FOUR:

Slick Sunderland up to seventh with another classy win

Sunderland went level on points with sixth place in the Championship today after a goal laden game at Hillsborough.

The Wearsiders were full value for their victory, but were given a late scare when they allowed Wednesday back into it at the death.

Dwight Yorke opened the scoring for Sunderland in the 20th minute after neat play in the penalty area by the visitors saw the former Manchester United striker chip a ball over keeper Mark Crossley from close range.

The Black Cats went into the break two goals to the good when David Connolly found Dean Whitehead on the right in the 45th minute and the captain’s ball across the area was stabbed home by Toby Hysen.

Wednesday offered little in the first half and Sunderland emphasised their superiority just before the hour when David Connolly grabbed the visitors’ third with an opportunist finish to a cross from the left.

At that point, the Wearsiders – backed by a vociferous 6,000-strong support – were cruising but Wednesday got back into the game thanks to a free-kick from Chris Brunt in the 81st minute and an emphatic finish from Wade Small in the 87th.

Those goals gave the home fans a hint of hope in the dying stages, but it was the Sunderland fans who travelled home with hope in their hearts when a flowing move cut Wednesday to pieces and Carlos Edwards scored his first goal as a Sunderland player, coolly striking home in the 88th minute.

DOOR’S NOT SHUT ON MILLER

Tommy Miller’s Sunderland career may get itself back on course, only days after it appeared the Shotton-born midfielder was heading out of the exit door.

The 27-year-old has spent the last three months on loan to Preston North End and after Lilywhites boss Paul Simpson signalled his intention to make the deal a permanent one, it looked as though Miller would be on his way.

But a prospective move has collapsed over cash and Miller is on the verge of sparking an unlikely move to play his way into Roy Keane’s plans.

The Sunderland boss has not played Miller in any game since taking over the reins at the Stadium of Light.

But Keane admitted that he is considering calling in the ex-Ipswich Town player in the weeks ahead and revealed Miller had done himself no harm by scoring two goals in the 3-2 friendly win over Gretna on Monday.

He said: Tommy’s been excellent since he came back and I have to say that he does come into consideration for future games at this stage.

“We spoke to Preston North End about the possibility of him moving there permanently. But that fell through and nothing will come of that now.

“Obviously we don’t know exactly what might happen over the next couple of weeks but as things stand he’s a Sunderland player and he’s done well since his return.

“We’ve always known he has ability and he’s shown that on the training pitch recently as well as demonstrating in a game he played against us for Preston that he can do an effective job. So Tommy’s got a chance.

“There’s no doubting his qualities and we’ve been looking at how he’s played – so he’s got a chance, put it that way.

“He can play in a variety of roles because he is an intelligent player and we saw that when he played against us for Preston. He’s intelligent, he knows the game of football, and he knows where the back of the net is, which is vital for an attacking midfielder.

“And I have to say he has given himself a good chance of getting involved over the next few weeks with his efforts since he returned.”