CARRIED along on a wave of enthusiasm as League worries fade and an exciting Cup run becomes a real possibility, Sunderland will be laying on the hottest reception for Charlie Hurley’s hopeful when Reading appear at Roker Park on Saturday in a Fourth Round tie. Manager Bob Stokoe says: “We can throw the League table out of the window this week and concentrate on a dying effort to crack this one.
“There is genuine interest in what we are doing and we want to keep it going. The atmosphere within the club could not be better and though we are not allowing ourselves to go overboard because we are having a successful run, we are determined to get through this one and keep the excitement going.”
Before starting the training routines at Washington New Town which will present Sunderland in fighting trim for Saturday’s game, Mr Stokoe warned that he would not be helping any guess-work on team selection before the weekend. “We have only one problem and we have all week to sort it out. So we will be keeping everyone guessing, including Reading.”
The problem arises from the necessary adjustment in the side which beat Millwall on Saturday because centre forward John Hughes is Cup-tied and in any case, is undergoing treatment for a knee injury.
That leaves one vacancy in the team and there will be speculation on the extent to which the formation will vary from that which was good enough to account for Notts County in the Third Round.
David Young and Ron Guthrie will be regarded as certain starters, but the key to it all will be the decision on what use to make of the all-round talent of Dave Watson.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on January 30 1973.