SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Yorke in centre role, Stead seals loan deal with Derby

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

MAN IN THE MIDDLE:

Yorke prepared to take on new role

DWIGHT YORKE is ready to plus a midfield gap for Sunderland if called upon by boss Roy Keane tomorrow.

 The Black Cats could be without wide men Liam Lawrence and Ross Wallace at Preston tomorrow, while Liam Miller has a foot problem and central midfielder Graham Kavanagh continues to recuperate from knee surgery.

 Toby Hysen should keep his place on the left if Wallace doesn’t make it, but with no proven right-winger available in Lawrence’s absence, Keane could be forced into a reshuffle – Dean Whitehead possibly being a candidate to move onto the wing.

 Yorke said: “I quite enjoy the challenge of midfield. I played there in the World Cup and it was a lot of fun.

 “I wouldn’t have a problem playing there and it is good for the manager to know that I am flexible.

 “You just don’t know what the boss might be thinking, but knowing him as I do, I don’t think he sees me as a midfielder.

 “He has played with me at Manchester United as the link man between midfield and the striker.

 “I guess we’ll all find out when the team is announced on Saturday.”

 Yorke returned to training with Sunderland this week after featuring in Trinidad & Tobago’s 5-0 friendly with St Vincent and the Grenadines last weekend.

 He returned to England before T&T’s second friendly against Panama to give himself plenty of time to prepare for the Deepdale game.

 Yorke said: “I’ve got the journey out of my system and I’m fine.

 “I’ve been doing this for a number of years and I know how to manage it. I should have played on Wednesday but I didn’t want to because that would not have given me sufficient time here before our game.”

 Thirty-four-year-old Yorke has played three times for Sunderland since joining from Sydney FC and believes he is progressing well.

 He added: “I’m getting better, but there is a lot of room for improvement.

 “The lads are still getting to know each other on the pitch because there have been a few new faces here, but I think there is plenty to give us encouragement and we can all improve as a team.

 “Preston tomorrow will be a big challenge for all of us – a test of character and we have to show what we are made of.

 “Preston are buoyant and playing well and we know they have got some decent players. But I am quietly confident that, if we play to our capability, we can overcome them.”

STEAD SEALS LOAN MOVE TO DERBY

JON STEAD today joined Derby County on a three-month loan.

 The Sunderland striker will be at Pride Park until January 2 and there was no word from either club about whether the switch may become permanent.

 Leicester City had also been interested in the forward, but could not set up the right deal.

 Derby boss Billy Davies said: “I think Derby would provide him with a good opportunity to show what he can do.

 “It would be a good place for him to come and continue to develop his career.”

  Stead should go straight into Derby’s side for their game at Plymouth tomorrow.

 But Andy Welsh’s proposed loan to Leicester may not come off in time for the Foxes’ home game against Southampton tomorrow.

 Leicester boss Rob Kelly said: “I wanted Andy in the close season but we just couldn’t do it and he had just signed a new contract.

 “He is one of a couple we are looking at who, of we manage to do it, will be available for the weekend, but there is a lot of work to be done.”

 Welsh scored once in 10 loan appearances with Leicester last season.