‘Upset’ Mike Dodds at a loss to explain Sunderland’s Watford defeat

Sunderland failed to score for the fourth time in their last five Championship outings but Mike Dodds insisted, “how we have not come away from that game with three points is beyond me.”

The interim head coach saw his team lose for the seventh time in his 12 matches in charge with a 1-0 defeat at Watford.

An improved performance was not good enough on the day and Dodds said: “My initial reflections are I’m upset for the group. I’m upset for the fans that have travelled down. I’m upset for the fans back in the north east because how we’ve not come away from that game with three points is beyond me.

“And I don’t take any kind of pride in this but when you come off the pitch and their staff and players are saying ‘how have we got away with that one?’ It makes it a harder thing to swallow.”

He continued: “I thought we were the better team. I felt we should have been 2-0 up in the first half. Particularly in the first half we completely limited them to chances and I’m disappointed with the goal we gave away because they played through the middle of the pitch far too easily. And they breached our back line far too easily so the goal is a really poor goal to give away.”

At least Sunderland created opportunities to score and he added: “We’ve had more than enough chances to, not even draw the game – that’s a game we should be winning. I’m upset for everyone associated with the football club because that shouldn’t be a defeat.”

The Black Cats must rouse themselves for one final game, against relegation-threatened Sheffield Wednesday, which fans are probably hoping can’t come soon enough.

“I have said to the players that we have a full week’s preparation and obviously they will be well and truly up for it because their livelihoods are on the line.,” Dodds added. “I think if we perform to a similar kind of level in terms of the chances we created in this game we’ll be okay. And for large pockets of the game I thought we were really good in possession, I’ve been critical of the team in possession but I thought in possession we had spells of being a lot more fluid.

“We created three or four really clear-cut opportunities which we have to score really if we are being brutally honest. If we do that next Saturday we will hopefully give the fans something positive to go away with in the summer. It’s going to be a big summer for the group and myself and everyone associated with the football club.”

One plus was Chris Rigg making his 20th league appearance of the season and the best opportunity of the first half fell to the midfielder, who failed to find the target. Rigg became only the fifth player in Championship history to make 20 appearances whilst aged 16 or under, with 17-year-old Tommy Watson also named amongst the substitutes.

It was Ryan Andrews who scored the 64th-minute winning goal as Tom Cleverley’s side ensured the points remained in Hertfordshire. For Sunderland supporters they will no doubt be out in force at the Stadium of Light against Wednesday and will be hoping they at least see a goal having only seen one in their previous five home matches.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/upset-mike-dodds-loss-explain-29074156

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