Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Crosby's Salute to McCarthy Revival

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Crosby's Salute to McCarthy Revival

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

Malcolm Crosby became the second post-war Sunderland manager to lead the Black Cats in an FA Cup final. Chief Sports Writer Simon Rushworth heard from the man tipping Mick McCarthy to be the third.

His tenure as Sunderland manager may have been brief but Malcolm Crosby's 13-month spell at the Black Cats' helm was never anything less than colourful.

Ultimately cast aside in favour of ex-England international Terry Butcher, the unassuming former first team coach guided the Wearsiders through one of the most eventful years in the club's history and only Liverpool stood between the South Shields lad and his place in red-and-white history.

Crosby's unceremonious Roker Park exit reflected a run of just four wins in 16 games at the start of his first full season in charge. But the former York City favourite had already endeared himself to Sunderland supporters everywhere following the club's unlikely 1992 FA Cup Final appearance against the mighty Reds.

And, as Mick McCarthy prepares to lead his promotion chasers into Sunday's semi-final battle against Millwall, the last manager to follow in Bob Stokoe's footsteps is quick to pay tribute to the club's current boss.

"Most managers take over when a club is struggling," admitted the man asked to fill Denis Smith's shoes in December 1991. "Otherwise there's no need to change things. But the situation Mick walked into really took the biscuit.

"Sunderland were rock bottom. It had become a joke because they were losing so often and the fans had lost all hope."

Crosby faced a similar crisis days after Sunderland crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Oxford but five wins in his first five games eased any immediate pressure. "Compared to the situation I faced, Mick inherited a real mess," he added.

"They must have been pretty poor last year because they kept losing week in, week out. …

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