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Dodds looks ahead after perfect start


SUNDERLAND enjoyed the best possible start to life after Tony Mowbray — not that perfectionist Mike Dodds will be dwelling on it.

The Black Cats’ caretaker manager had a blunt message for his players — ‘Keep the celebrations short’ — as his focus shifted immediately to the visit of Leeds on Tuesday.

Dodds will again be in the dugout to face Daniel Farke’s side and said: ‘As far as I’m aware, I’m in charge on Tuesday unless I’m told otherwise. It’s great to win, but straightaway my mind goes to

Leeds. If we don’t get a positive result from that match, I’ll be beating myself up.

‘I don’t want to become the focus. I’m a perfectionist and I didn’t like the goal we conceded at the end, which made things a bit nervy. I didn’t like the first half, even though we should have been ahead.

‘We made some tweaks and changes to the plan at half-time and the second half was what I’d call a Sunderland performance.’

The goals arrived in a hectic final 20 minutes, defender Dan Ballard breaking the deadlock when he caught Nathaniel Chalobah sleeping at the near post to glance home Alex Pritchard’s free-kick.

Pritchard helped turn the game the way of the hosts following his introduction just after the hour. And the former Tottenham midfielder was again involved as Sunderland doubled their advantage with six minutes left, pouncing on a mistake by Conor Townsend to put Dan Neil through on goal.

The midfielder did the rest from 18 yards with a cool chip over West Brom goalkeeper Alex Palmer.

Brandon Thomas-Asante assured a nervy finale when, with four minutes remaining, he stole in front of Ballard to send a looping header into the far corner.

West Brom boss Carlos Corberan said: ‘After back-to-back defeats we must react.’





dmg media (UK)