SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Stoke eye Delap, Cunningham injury blow

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

STOKE OUT TO GRAB DELAP:

Pulis eyes initial Rory loan

STOKE City want to take Rory Delap on loan with a view to a permanent signing.

 The struggling Potters see the Black Cats utility man as the sort of player who can help them kick-start a disappointing season so far.

 And Britannia Stadium boss Tony Pulis will test Sunderland’s resolve this week to hand on the veteran Republic of Ireland international.

 Cash-strapped City have won only one game all season, are scoring less than a goal a game and are desperately in need of new blood to revive them.

 And 30-year-old Delap’s versatility could be vital in strengthening a club which has one of the thinnest squads in the division.

 Delap has played in six of Sunderland’s 10 league games so far this season but has not featured in the last four games.

 His preferred position is central midfield, but he has rarely played in that position since joining from Southampton on a free transfer in January.

 He has played right wing, left wing, up front and in both full-back positions and this season, the vast majority of his 13 appearances have been made at right back.

 With the return of right-back Nyron Nosworthy to full fitness and his starring performance in Saturday’s game against Sheffield Wednesday, it may be that Delap is regarded as surplus to requirements at the Stadium of Light at the moment.

 And Keane has talked about the fact that he will look to send out several players on loan in the near future, recognising that he cannot keep everyone in a squad in excess of 30 footballers happy.

 He has also been keen to point out, though, that just because a player goes on loan, does not necessarily mean it is the end of his Sunderland career.

CUNNINGHAM INJURY BLOW:

SUNDERLAND defender Kenny Cunningham is facing up to three weeks out with a hamstring strain.

 Cunningham picked up the injury during the Black Cats’ 1-0 home win over Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

 Boss Roy Keane confirmed from his side’s European training camp that the experienced centre-back would be a doubt when Sunderland return to action after the international break.

 The Wearsiders face three games in eight days – at Preston on October 14, away to Stoke four days later and at home to Barnsley on October 21 – and Cunningham may struggle to be available for any of them.

 The luck of the Irish has certainly deserted Keane in terms of injuries since he was installed in the Stadium of Light hotseat, but Cunningham’s absence is likely to offer Neill Collins or Danny Collins a further opportunity to impress.

 There was better news, however, on Tobias Hysen, who went of injured against the Owls with a suspected hamstring problem.