Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.
LET ME AT ‘EM:
Fit-again Carlos hungry for the Wolves
CARLOS EDWARDS says he cannot wait to rejoin Sunderland’s promotion campaign – and he’s ready to play against Wolves tomorrow if called on.
Manager Roy Keane has been cautious about the flying winger’s prospects of rejoining the team, suggesting that the visit of play-off hopefuls Wolves and even the trip to Southampton on Bank Holiday Monday might come toon soon for him.
But the Trinidad & Tobago winger – out of action since injuring his shoulder in the win at West Brom at the beginning of March – will have no qualms if he’s recalled to face the men from Molineux.
“It has been four or five weeks since I got the injury and now I’m looking forward to coming back,” said the former Luton Star.
“It’s been really frustrating to be out of action for so long at such a crucial stage of the season.
“I hate watching football when I can’t get involved. But I have been training for the last week and assuming there are no more problems then I should be available for selection tomorrow.
“I worked really hard with the physio, Pete Friar, because I wanted to be back before the end of the season.
“This week, the manager will have been watching my progress and hopefully he will have seen enough to convince him that I am ready.”
Edwards has been back in full-contact training this week and that has given him the chance to see how his left shoulder will stand up to the demands of a competitive match.
He said: “It was a ligament problem rather than a bone problem.
“Initially, the medical team said that I would be out for six to eight weeks but I have made a good recovery.
“The ligaments take time to heal, though, so it has still taken more than a month.
“I started in full training with the rest of the lads a week ago and I can withstand the contact that comes with that.
“I’m pleased I’ve had the chance to see how it responds to contact in training because if I play tomorrow then I know the Wolves players will not be taking it easy on me.”
Sunderland are just a point outside the automatic promotion places, and three behind leaders Derby – who face Leicester in ad potentially tricky derby match at Walkers Arena today.
And, despite in-form Edwards being sidelined, the Wearsiders have extended their unbeaten run to 14 league games.
Tomorrow though, will present as tough a challenge as any when former Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy – now in charge of Wolves – returns to the Stadium of Light fort he first time since his sacking 13 months ago.
Edwards said: “Fortunately, the team has done very well while I have been out and we are right on the heels of the top two.
“There are still six games to go, but hopefully if we can keep if the form we have shown since Christmas then we will be in with a great chance of making it into the Premiership.
“But it will be a tough game tomorrow because Wolves also have their sights on promotion and they will want to win after losing heavily last weekend.”
KEANE HOLDS OUT HOPE ON EVANS EXTENSION:
SUNDERLAND boss Roy Keane holds out hope of retaining impressive loan defender Jonny Evans next season.
The Manchester United centre-half has been a massive influence on the Black Cats since signing in January.
It was thought that the Northern Ireland star would return to Old Trafford for next season, but Keane hopes that Sir Alex Ferguson will let Evans further develop away from United. “We’ve got Jonny on loan until the end of the season and we’ll see what happens,” said Keane.
“You’re always hoping that maybe there’s a chance there might be another loan deal, but I’ve not spoken to United about that because the manager has enough on his plate at this moment in time. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Meanwhile, fellow United loanee Danny Simpson hopes to shrug off a knee problem to face Wolves tomorrow.
He returned to training yesterday and revealed: “Hopefully I’ll be OK for the weekend. I’m desperate to play, it’s a vital stage and I want to be involved.
“It’s a big weekend, but then every weekend we say that.
“We’re looking forward to it, we seem to play better against the bigger teams and I think we’ll come through it well. Everyone is expecting us to slip up, but we’re focused and confident of getting a good points return.”