SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Edwards targets Cardiff return
Here's what the Echo was reporting on 10 years ago.
CARLOS TARGETS CARDIFF RETURN
But winger admits he is walking a tightrope
CARLOS EDWARDS has refused to rule out the prospect of him being able to return to the side for Sunderland’s next game – the match at Cardiff a week on Saturday.
But the winger admits that he could still be out for many weeks to come and insists he will only return one the medical men are convinced he’ll suffer no further setbacks.
The 28-year-old has been sidelined since suffering shoulder damage in the first half of the game at West Bromwich Albion, just under three weeks ago.
The diagnosis was that he would be out for between six to eight weeks, but Roy Keane reckoned that the flying winger would be a quick healer and that they might even be able to shave a week of his recovery time.
That would give him a very outside chance of involvement in the Cardiff City game and Edwards himself is hanging on to that hope.
He told the Echo: “I don’t know if I’ll have a chance for the Cardiff game, but I do want to get back to playing as soon as possible.
“I really don’t know how long I’m going to be out for but I’m pleased with the way things seem to be going so far, Pete Friar and the rest of the physio team have put a lot of work into helping me recover.”
Scans on the shoulder damaged by a crunching foul from Albion’s Richard Chaplow, show no long-term damage to the shoulder.
And the former Luton Town man has recovered sufficiently to be able to resume running.
He said: “It’s great that I’m back doing some running again and I’ve been working with the ball a little bit, so hopefully I won’t lose too much fitness or my touch.
“I’m not involved in any physical contact, though, in training and we just have to see how the should recovers from day to day.
“It’s a shame for me because I felt I was playing well since my move to Sunderland and I was helping the team and you never want to pick up an injury when you’re in good form.
“I have to say though that the lads have done really well in the games that I’ve missed – seven points from nine is an excellent return.
“We have improved our position in the play-offs with those results and have put extra pressure on the top two and I only hope it won’t be too long before I am back in contention for a place.
“I’ve had a serious injury before in my career, so, while it is disappointing to miss matches at the moment, I have to be grateful that it is not a lot worse.
“If things had worked out differently, I might have been out for the rest of the season, but, as it is, it looks as though I’ll definitely be back for some stage of it.
“I’ve just got to hope it is sooner rather than later.”
WARD EYES CHAMPION REPEAT
SUNDERLAND keeper Darren Ward is determined to secure the second title-winning medal of his career this season.
The WaleS international has been a key man since replacing Ben Alnwick as Sunderland’s first-choice keeper in October, playing a major role in the club’s rise to third place in the Championship.
“I got a Division Three winners’ medal with Notts County under Sam Allardyce in 1998,” said Ward, who joined Sunderland last summer.
“We had won the championship by March that season. That was exciting times and regardless of what division it was in it ranks up there as one of the best achievements in my career.”
Ward is desperate to repeat that title-winning glory with Sunderland, but would be confident of play-off success were the Black Cats to miss out on automatic promotion – even though he was never won promotion via the end-of-season shoot-out.
He has been in the play-offs three times – in the Division One semi-finals in 2003, the Division Two final in 1996 and Division Three’s last-four stage in 1995.
“I was in a play-off final when we ducked out against Bradford (in 1996),” Ward added. “Bradford went on to bigger and better things until they found themselves where they are now.
“I’ve been in the play-offs with Nottingham Forest as well and Mansfield so I’ve been there and done it a few times with success and without success.
“Hopefully, with the strength we have at this club now and the momentum going into the last part of the season, it will stand us in good stead.”