SAFC 10 YEARS AGO: New boys set for debuts, Kyle hopes to beat boo boys

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

ELLIOTT BACK IN CONTENTION

Simpson and John could make debuts

NEW SIGNINGS Danny Simpson and Stern John are in contention for debuts against Coventry against Coventry tomorrow – and Stephen Elliott is available again after an ankle injury.

Manager Roy Keane said this morning: “I haven’t finalised my selection for tomorrow’s game yet, but obviously those three are players who will come into consideration.

“Steve missed out on Tuesday because he’d taken a knock, but he’s started training again and we think he will be available.

“But he’s one of several players carrying knocks who won’t be risked if they are not fully fit.

“As for Danny and Stern, they’ve both got a chance.

“Danny could come in at right-back and that will free Dean Whitehead to go into midfield, perhaps.

“And as for Stern John, he’s looked good in training. He looks strong and I’m sure he’ll want to play against his former club.”

Sunderland go into tomorrow’s game with the manager only too well aware of the importance of home games.

He said: I don’t mind dropping points occasionally such as the Crystal Palace game because we tried our best, showed the right attitude and it just never worked out for us/

“Football can be like that sometimes, but we don’t want too many games like that.

“It’s vital that we do well in our home games because we don’t want to be plating catch-up for too long.”

KYLE: I’LL TAKE IT TO THE MAX!

PROUD DAD Kevin Kyle hopes son Max will be a lucky charm on his return to the Stadium of Light.

The former Black Cat’s two goals for Coventry came with his little boy in the crowd, and he’ll be there tomorrow.

And the striker has more than one reason to hope for a successful trip to Sunderland as he looks to win over the Sky Blue’s boo boys.

It will be Kyle’s first time back since making a £600,000 switch to Coventry four days before Roy Keane was announced as Sunderland’s new manager in August.

He has been hindered by illness and injury after a transfer that he hoped would refresh his career that was halted for 18 months by a serious hip injury during his time in the North East.

Kyle said: “I have got a point to prove here (at Coventry). It has been difficult leaving my 18-month little boy up in Sunderland.

“I want to prove a point to myself as well because before I had a bad injury at Sunderland I was playing well week-in, week-out and then all of a sudden my career was on hold during my injury. When I got back I tried to pick up where I left off, but couldn’t.

“As time goes on you start doubting whether you can reach that level again. I took the opportunity to come to Coventry, which I thought might help get my career going again.

“I had a good start, scoring on my home debut, but then I would have one good game and one hopeless. I know I am good enough.”

Kyle has had a rough ride from Sky Blues fans, who have taken out their frustration on the wholehearted Scot after seeing star man Gary McSheffrey sold to Birmingham City.

The 25-year-old hopes Sunderland fans will not be hard on him as he returns to a club he helped to the FA Cup semi-final and play-offs in 2004 before being cut down by injury.

“Before I even came to Coventry, the fans didn’t think I was a great signing, so I was on a hiding to nothing anyway,” he said.

“I want to prove to them that I am good enough in the next two and a half years. Whatever I have to do I will do it and there is no reason why I can’t be liked by the fans and instead of getting them booing, get them cheering.