SUNDERLAND 10 YEARS AGO: Dwight Yorke stays, but Tommy Miller shipped out to Preston

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.


Yorke stays at home to boost Black Cats’ cause

Dwight Yorke says Sunderland’s plight is more important than a friendly international.

The 35-year-old pulled our of Trinidad & Tobago’s match in Austria tonight after deciding he needed to concentrate on helping the Black Cats.

He has not ruled out representing his country in the future, but it seems increasingly unlikely that the midfielder will line up for the Soca Warriors again.

Yorke told the Echo: “We’re in a situation where we have to start winning football matches on a more regular basis.

“It is nice to play for your country, but at this moment I feel I have to give my full concentration to Sunderland.

“It’s more important that I’m here helping the team to prepare for the weekend than going to Austria for what is only a friendly.

“I have a great understanding with the Trinidad & Tobago FA and they know my situation here.

“I’m not saying it’s over for me if they want me in the future, but they know there will be times when I will not make myself available.”

Yorke has spoken before about the leadership responsibilities he feels he has on Wearside.

He has described himself as boss Roy Keane’s “eyes and ears in the dressing room.”

With Keane’s men languishing deep in the bottom half of the Championship, the former Manchester United favourite believes his influence is needed.

He said: “You do get more relaxed when you get more experienced. It is true that you get older and wiser.

“It is no good ranting and raving all the time when things go against you.

“You are disappointed when you lose and make mistakes but you learn to deal with it.

“I feel I’m experienced enough to be able to relax people and playing in midfield I am better placed to do that because it’s easier to communicate with people all over the pitch.”

Yorke says no-one is pushing the panic button at the Stadium of Light, despite the Black Cats sitting only four points above the relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s visit of Colchester United.

“Two or three good results and we’re in the top six,” he said. I’m still very confident we can do that.”


Tommy Miller joined Preston North End on loan until January last night and admitted: “I was hitting my head against a brick wall at Sunderland.”

The midfielder was not given a game by new boss Roy Keane, who made it clear the 27-year-old was surplus to requirements.

Ipswich were the long time favourites to re-sign their former midfielder, while Colchester and Southend were also in the melting pot.

But Preston – sitting second in the Championship behind Cardiff – stepped in to steal a march on their rivals.

Miller said: “I was hitting my head against a brick wall at Sunderland. I didn’t really stand a chance.

“Roy Keane came in while I was injured with a problem with my ankle and he has brought his own players in, which is fair enough.

“The last few months have been frustrating. It has been hard but I am pleased that something has finally been resolved and that I can move on and play football, enjoy doing what’s best and hopefully get few goals.”

Miller looked off the pace during his single season on Wearside last term in a team struggling badly.

He played 29 Premiership games and scored three goals, well below his previous impressive average of one every three games during his time with Hartlepool and Ipswich.

Miller said: “My Championship record doesn’t lie. I’ve managed to get goals at that level.

“I’ve managed too get into double figures in the seasons I have played in that division. I scored 11 and then I scored 15 in my last season at Ipswich, I’m confident that I can get goals.

“At Sunderland it was pretty much ‘backs against the wall’ last season. Nearly every week we found it hard and maybe I was forced to play a little but of a deeper role.

 “It was tough, but you move on. That’s history now; I want to come here and do well.”

Miller knows that Preston’s strong start to the season – which included a 4-1 home triumph over the Black Cats a month ago – will make it hard to win a place in Paul Simpson’s side.

“Paul’s done a fantastic job. He’s brought a few players in and they have done very well,” said the Shotton Colliery playmaker. “They are riding high at the right end of the table and hopefully that will continue and hopefully I am part of that.

“The gaffer wants me to come down and enjoy myself again, hopefully force my way into the team and be part of it.

“He told me that obviously we are doing really well at the minute, the team is doing well and the lads are doing well so I wouldn’t necessarily go straight in and I don’t expect to.”