SAFC 10 YEARS AGO: Hysen faces fitness fight

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

TOBY FACES FITNESS FIGHT

Hysen, Evans and Miller could miss Hull clash

TOBY HYSEN is a major doubt for Sunderland’s game against Hull City tomorrow after suffering an ankle injury in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw against Stoke.

And the Black Cats could also be without Jonny Evans and Liam Miller, with all three set to have late fitness tests.

Hysen is the major doubt though and manager Roy Keane said today: “If he’s not fully fit, we won’t risk him.”

He added: “Toby did his ankle during the game and we’re still waiting to see how that comes on.

“The same applied to Jonny Evans, who’s got a bit of whiplash from Tuesday’s game and Liam, who has picked up a slight calk injury but is expected to be available.”

Injuries aside, Keane is looking forward to the visit of Hull tomorrow as a chance to step up the club’s challenge for a place in the Championship top two.

He said: “People have mentioned that we could go top on Saturday if the results pan out the right way for us. It’s something we’re fully aware of and it’s great that it’s there.

“But it’s not something that we are dwelling on. We just want to do the best we can in these games.

“We’ve got the international break coming up, we’ve got a big home crowd expected tomorrow and we want to go into the fortnight without a game on the right note.”

Tomorrow’s visitors are at the wrong end of the table but have bounced clear of the relegation zone on the back of two consecutive victories. And the Sunderland manager will not be underestimating their threat.

He said: “We will treat Hull with respect, not too much respect, but with respect. You simply cannot take any game for granted in football and I never have. If you take a game for granted you’ll get beat and, especially in our division, any team can beat any other on their day.

“Hull have had some very good results this season like the recent 2-0 win over Birmingham City.

“As I say, we will treat them with respect, but we know that if we are focused and work hard – as I know we will – we’ve got every chance of getting a good result.”

BROWN: I WAS CLOSE TO JOINING CATS

PHIL BROWN will field his Hull City side against Sunderland tomorrow knowing that has things turned out differently last summer, he might just be the Black Cats assistant manager now!

Sunderland fan Brown was favourite to be Sam Allardyce’s number two if the Bolton boss has taken over the vacant post at the Stadium of Light last year.

Brown was Allardyce’s number two at Bolton before taking over at Derby County and having been sacked by the Rams, the South-Shields born Brown would loved to have teamed up again with big Sam at Sunderland.

He said: I know just how close that was to coming off and I know the ins and outs of it. There was an awful lot that went on over the summer. It was close. But at the end of the day the job has gone to Roy Keane and it’s been so far, so good for him in his first crack at management.

As far as I’m concerned as a Sunderland fan, I hope that continues after Saturday, because come three o’clock on Saturday though, nothing would give me greater pleasure then to go to the Stadium of Light and get three points.”

Brown is a lifelong Sunderland an and admits that it will be a proud moment to put out a side against the team he used to watch as a boy.

“It is a special weekend for me,” he said. “I’m working for Hull City now so I’ve got to put aside my sentiment towards Sunderland until after the game.

“But I’ve managed to get hold of about 40 tickets for friends and family.

“I’ve got very fond memories of Sunderland – more at Roker Park than the Stadium of Light. It’s a completely different club now and it’s on the way up again.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Roy Keane has certainly got the ball rolling and we’ve seen a snowball effect since they came to the KC Stadium earlier this season.

“We will certainly give a better account of ourselves when we play at the Stadium of Light than we did that day, because if you were to hold your hands up, you’d admit they could have beaten us 5-0 instead of 1-0.

“There’s a lot at stake for both sides with Sunderland looking for promotion and us to pull clear of relegation.

“But come three o’clock it will not be about two managers, it will be about two teams.

“I know that my side will be just as prepared as Sunderland and of anything, going into the game with a little more confidence.”