Injuries hold up Stokoe’s choice

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SUNDERLAND’S first team pool returned to action at the club’s Washington New Town training complex, but Manager Bob Stokoe is still giving no hint of how he intends to scheme his double assault against Luton Town in a League game at Kenilworth Road, on Saturday and in the F.A. Cup Sixth Round tie which gives Roker Park its match of the season a week later.

Much will depend upon the progress made by players who are still nursing injuries received in Saturday’s game against Oxford Utd and upon how others shape in tonight’s North Midlands League game against Grimsby Town Reserves at Roker Park (7.30).

John Hughes, injured in the first minute of his debut game against Millwall was hoping to come back into action tonight with the prospect of playing at Luton, but he has been ruled out. “He trained with the first team this morning,” said Mr Stokoe “but he is still feeling soreness in the knee and cannot be considered.”

With the transfer deadline coming at midnight tomorrow, Mr Stokoe said there would be not more additions to the staff, but he had made one concession in the field of releasing players on loan by allowing York City manager Mr Tom Johnston to have talks with Ashington-born Brian Thompson.

Thompson travelled down to York this afternoon to discuss a loan agreement. Mr Stokoe said: “Brian is having to wait for this chance in the area where we are well covered at the moment. But he goes only on the understanding that he will get the first team football which he is not getting here and further that we can have him back if we should need him.”

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on March 7 1973.