Does Ricky wants out – of the cup?

Realistic or deeply disappointing? Does it mean Ricky Sbragia actually wants us to be kicked out tonight, even though the draw for the fifth round – Coventry at home – gives us a massive chance of reaching the quarter finals? Does it matter if that’s the case?

Are we so much under threat of relegation that Stoke at home is our cup final? And perhaps worst of all, is Ricky talking down the cup and talking up the Stoke game in such a way that we lose tonight because we don’t care, and fail on Saturday because the pressure on the players will be overwhelming?

This is what Ricky told BBC Radio Newcastle about tonight’s replay at Blackburn:

“In general, I’m going to play a lot of the squad players and I might hand a couple of debuts to the younger players because we’ve got a massive game against Stoke on Saturday,” he said.

“I don’t know what Sam [Allardyce] is going to do but in my point of view I’ll be going down to Blackburn with a weakened team.”

What does Salut! Sunderland think? The Arabian part of it is in no doubt that staying up is our priority, but is dismayed that we find ourselves in such jeopardy, after all that has been spent (and said), that a cup run is seen as a nuisance or worse.

1 thought on “Does Ricky wants out – of the cup?”

  1. In 1973, we were facing relegation from Division Two. Bob Stokoe looked at the cup in a positive light and we ended up in the top 6 .
    However, since then we have had the introduction of a transfer window (Stokoe signed Halom, Guthrie and Young during the run), wall to wall football on TV, meaning that people can watch most games from their armchairs – or in front of their PC’s- and the general running down of all cup ties.
    My head tells me that Sbragia is right. Rest those who have picked up knocks, give a couple of “promising youngsters” a run out and lets see what happens. If we win, great; if we lose, well so what.
    My heart says that this is typical of the way that the game is going. My best day ever in the whole of my life was at Wembley Stadium on May 5th. 1973. If Bob Stokoe had played John Tones and John Lathan at Reading because Watson and Hughes were a little tired, would that have ever happened?
    I remeber listening to the scores coming through from Reading on Radio 2. No local radio then. They had commentary on the Manchester City v Liverpool replay and I was sat at 9,Drybourne Park marking some GCE History exam papers. A large number of students got good marks as the goals went in at Elm Park.
    Not very professional I know, but that was the night I began to believe that there was a possibility the sleeping giant might begin to stir itself (leave no cliche unturned).
    If we go out meekly, we had better make up for it on Saturday.

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