Odds are against Young being fit

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THE ODDS are still against David Young being clear of his painful ankle injury in time to take his place in the Sunderland side for their F.A. Cup (Fifth Round) challenge against Manchester City at Maine Road on Saturday. “It seems that there is not much chance of him playing for the Reserves in their North Midland League Cup tie at York tomorrow night and that must make home very doubtful for Saturday,” said Manager Bob Stokoe.

The programme which Mr Stokoe had in mind for Young, who received a severe ankle injury against Sheffield Wednesday on February 10, was a work-out with the Reserves to demonstrate his fitness. But that was a week ago. Today, while Sunderland’s first team pool worked through a full-scale training session under the direction of Mr Stokoe, Arthur Cox and Billy Elliott at Washington New Town, Young was at Roker Park receiving treatment from physiotherapist, John Watters.

Richie Pitt, recalled from a month’s loan with Arsenal to fill Young’s spot in the 4–0 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday, gave an excellent account of himself and looks like having the job again in Saturday’s big game.

While Sunderland took their customary break from training at the week-end, Manager Malcolm Allison, who was on a spying mission at the Wear–Tees “derby,” had his first team pool hard at work on Sunday. And there will be no break for them until they step out for a Cup task which they are treating with the greatest respect.


The recollection of being held at home then beaten at Ayresome Park by Middlesbrough last season is too clear in their minds for them to make the mistake of underrating the opposition again. And they also have the warning from Mr Allison that Sunderland have a lot of skill and determination.

Beaten only twice in their last 17 games – by Leeds United and Newcastle United – City announced yesterday that they will be fielding an unchanged side for the fifth successive game. Their line-up, which includes five current internationals in Willie Donachie, Mike Summerbee, Colin Bell, Rodney Marsh and Francis Lee will be:

Corrigan, Book and Donachie, Doyle, Booth and Jeffries, Sumberbee, Bell, Marsh, Lee and Towers.

Probable substitute is Freddie Hill, though Ian Mellor is also on stand-by.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on February 20 1973.