Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago today.
ROSS READY FOR A FIGHT:
Wallace sweats on start battle with rival Hysen
ROSS WALLACE is sweating on winning his place back in Sunderland’s side after serving a one-match suspension.
The ex-Celtic man is fully aware of how well his replacement, Tobias Hysen, performed in his absence.
But the Scotland Under-21 winger is determined to force his way back into the first-team reckoning over the next three games – Preston on Saturday, away to Stoke next Tuesday and at home to Barnsley four days later – especially with manager Roy Keane having said that he will look to switch his side around with three games coming up in eight days.
Wallace has been a hit since moving to Wearside from Parkhead on transfer deadline day in August and scoring on his debut at Derby in September.
But he missed Sunderland’s last game, against Sheffield Wednesday, after being sent off for a second bookable offence at Ipswich the week before.
And now, free from suspension, he knows he will have a fight on his hands to win his place back because Sweden international Hysen seized his chance against the Owls.
Wallacd said: “That was the first time I have ever been sent off – and, I hope, the last too.
“We did well against Sheffield Wednesday – which is the most important thing – but now I have to try and get back in the team.
“Toby came in against Sheffield Wednesday and played well, so it will be tough to get my place back.
“It’s up to me to work hard in training and impress the manager all over again and hoepfully get my place back in the team.
“But I was happy with my form before the ban so hopefully missing out on the last match won’t have knocked me out of my stride.
“I’ve been fairly pleased with the way I’ve played since I moved here.
“I want to carry on playing and getting better. Hopefully the best is still to come from me.”
RAMS EYE STEAD LOAN:
JON STEAD is wanted by Derby County.
The striker, who has not made a Sunderland appearance under Roy Keane’s management, was left out of a closed-doors reserve game at Middlesbrough yesterday.
He was not included in the squad of 16 against Sheffield Wednesday 10 days ago and is now eager to get the chance to prove his worth elsewhere.
Derby boss Billy Davies is looking to bolster his attack, with only target man Steve Howard and on-loan Arsenal forward Arturo Lupoli fit and available.
Veteran Paul Peschisolido is out for six weeks with a thigh injury and Stead could go on loan to plug the gap at Pride Park.
The 23-year-old has not made a first-team appearance since scoring a 90th-minute consolation goal in the Black Cats’ 3-1 loss at Southend on August 19.
He suffered a thigh injury that restricted his availability, but was still left out against Wednesday.
Stead has scored only twice in 40 Sunderland appearances since making a £1.8million move from Blackburn in June 2005. It took him 29 games to break his duck, the former Huddersfield forward finally getting off the mark in a 2-2 draw at Everton on April Fools’s Day.