Sunderland ask League for postponement

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A MEDICAL inspection of their first team pool at midday today convinced Sunderland that they would not be able to field a side in condition to do itself justice against Orient at Brisbrane Road on Saturday. But their applications for a postponement has been shelved by the Football League, who want further consultation tomorrow before making a decision...

Sunderland secretary, Mr Ron Linney said: “The inspection carried out by our medical advisors, Dr Jim Scott, showed that four players were still very much under the weather and all the other player who have been down with flu are still far from fit. Under the circumstances, we had no hesitation over asking for a postponement of the Orient game.”

“We have been told by the Football League that ours is a borderline case and they want a further report tomorrow before giving permission for the game to be postponed. Apparently, they have dealt the same way with Leeds United’s application so we will have to go through the same procedure again tomorrow.

Under the direction of trainer-coach Billy Elliott, who has taken charge of preparation again in the continued absence of Manager Bob Stokoe, himself a flu victim, the Sunderland first team pool players have worked three light training sessions.

“They have all done their best and they have been willing enough,” said Mr Elliott “but obviously they are still feeling the after-effects. One or two, in fact, are very much under the weather.”

Only first team pool players have been reporting to the Washington New Town training complex for the past three days. The youth team have no game on Saturday and the next engagement for the Reserves is on Wednesday night, when they are due to entertain York City in the North Midlands League Challenge Cup (second round).

Although a final decision on Leeds’ match at West Bromwich on Saturday has been deferred, the League concluded that it is almost certain to be postponed.

Secretary Alan Hardaker said: “Leeds have ten players down with ‘flu’ including nine first team players, and there is very little likelihood of them recovering in time. The match is very doubtful.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on December 28 1972.