MANAGER BOB STOKOE watched the Sunderland players working through the last stages of their preparation for tomorrow’s F.A. Cup (Sixth Round) tie against Luton Town at Roker Park and, after a quick check, was happy to announce that Sunderland will be going into the game with the side which turned on a super display to beat Manchester City in a Fifth Round Replay.
The final doubt concerned Dick Malone, who has been receiving treatment for an ankle injury. But Malone came through the session without any discomfort and holds his place in a side dedicated to make it the fight of a lifetime to earn a place in the Semi-Final at the first attempt.
“I have not yet decided who will be substitute,” said Mr Stokoe “but David Young or Brian Chambers will get the job and we’ll sort that one out tomorrow.”
The team is: Montgomery, Malone and Guthrie, Horswill, Watson and Pitt, Kerr, Hughes W., Halom, Porterfield and Tueart. Substitute. Young or Chambers.
“We want to win this one at first attempt,” said Mr Stokoe. “Everybody’s looking forward to it and the lads will give everything they’ve got. I’m not giving any guarantee, of course, but if it is effort that gets results then we will be certainties to do well.
“We are getting tremendous inspiration from our supporters and I know they will be in good voice tomorrow. I’m sure the players will rise to the occasion and I hope the breaks go with us, because breaks are very important indeed.
“We know we face a very hard tie and we are not under-estimating Luton. But there will be a big-time atmosphere and our players will respond to it.”
Luton name 17
Luton manager Mr Harry Haslam had said that he will be bringing 17 players North and will not be making his final choice until shortly before the game.
A surprise addition to this list of probably starters is goalkeeper Keith Barber, who broke two bones in a leg only a month ago and has made a remarkable recovery. He played in a reserve game on Wednesday night and has been declared fit to return tomorrow.
Third choice goalkeeper Willie Carrick travels because Graham Horn, signed from Arsenal as a replacement for Barber, is Cup-tied.
Luton from: Barber, Carrick, Thomson, Shanks, Moore, Garner, John Ryan, Jim Ryan, Hindson, Slough, Anderson, Busby, Fern, Aston, Howells, Faulkner, Goodeves.
Mr Haslam says: “I know people think we are the underdogs, but that doesn’t worry us. We were underdogs in the previous rounds at Newcastle and Bolton.”
Both sides are only three hours of playing time away from Wembley and both will be all-out to book their places for the next stage.
On their way only previous appearance at Wembley, Sunderland beat Luton 3–1 at Roker Park in a Fourth Round Replay and they will be delighted if they can take the same kind of stride forward tomorrow.
Looking on from the stands as guests of Sunderland director Mr Fred Stewart will be four of the players who took part in that exciting victory over Luton on February 3, 1937.
Jimmy Connor, Len Duns, Bobby Gurney and Johnny Mapson have all accepted invitations from Mr Stewart. Raich Carter was asked too, and would have liked to come, but he has another engagement which prevents him from accepting.
Stories taken from the Sunderland Echo on March 16 1973.