Thursday, April 25, 2024

Mike Dodds accepts ‘bold’ approach ‘didn’t work’ as Sunderland lose to Swansea

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Feb 2024

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Sunderland interim head coach Mike Dodds admitted his “bold” tactical changes and selection backfired after the 2-1 home defeat to Swansea.

In his first game as caretaker boss after Michael Beale was sacked earlier this week, Dodds was without injured star man Jack Clarke and made four changes as well as switching to a back three.

But it didn’t go to plan for Dodds and Sunderland, who were outplayed in the first half by Swansea and the visitors took complete control thanks to Ronald’s quickfire double.

Sunderland improved after the break and halved the deficit through Luke O’Nien but couldn’t force an equaliser.

“It didn’t work, it doesn’t take an expert to see that,” admitted Dodds.

“One thing I demonstrated last time I was in this role and that’ll I’ll keep reiterating is that while I’m in this position I’ll continue to make bold decisions. Sometimes that will be a positive, sometimes a negative.

“We’ve got to take that first 45 on the chin, me, the staff and the players. I wouldn’t have sent the players out if I wasn’t confident the message was really clear, so that’s something as a collective we all have to take on the chin.

“I know I’ve been really bold in terms of my decisions and how I’ve tried to set up, I’m not going to take all the responsibility because it’s a relationship between me and the players.”

Only three Championship players have scored more than Clarke this season and the winger was always going to be a big miss after suffering an ankle injury in last week’s defeat to Birmingham.

Dodds said: “Any team in this league would miss Jack Clarke and Dan Ballard but I won’t make excuses.

“I won’t shirk away from the responsibility of being head coach and the fact the first 45 wasn’t acceptable.”

Swansea are now four points above the drop zone after bouncing back from successive home defeats with a much-needed victory.

Boss Luke Williams said: “The first half in particular was strong. I think we were good value for the result.

“We have been seeing some really good performance markers in games but it’s difficult when the result is negative.

“We felt we were improving bit by bit and today is a big step forward.

“Ronald deserved both the goals. He’s deserved one or two more key actions in previous games. He was a huge threat. He’s so quick and direct and I’m really happy for him.

“We need now to try and improve so that we can control longer periods of the game. The opposition was brilliant in the second half and put us under a lot of pressure but on the flip side I saw the team defending well.”

Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson almost scored a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser after going up for a corner but was denied by Swansea counterpart Carl Rushworth.

Williams added: “Rushy is incredible. He’ll be a top keeper. He’ll be with us next season but after that I think he’ll be a top Premier League goalkeeper.”

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