Sunderland star makes new manager claim ahead of Leeds United visit

Sunderland are currently without a permanent manager following the resignation of Tony Mowbray last week. Sunderland’s weekend goal hero Dan Ballard has stated that it’s business as usual for the Black Cats as they prepare to welcome Leeds United to the Stadium of Light.

Following Tony Mowbray’s dismissal last week, Mike Dodds took command of Sunderland in a 2-1 victory over West Brom, and the former Birmingham City academy manager is expected to continue in charge for the Whites’ visit on Tuesday night. While Sunderland’s players have expressed their admiration for Mowbray’s work at the club, which included leading them to the play-offs last season, there is a feeling in the camp that they can return to the top six by the end of the season and that their ambition will not be derailed by the club’s current lack of a permanent manager.


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“Regarding the new manager, it hasn’t been a big topic of discussion among us,” Ballard mentioned when asked by Sunderland Echo about the squad’s thoughts on the upcoming managerial appointment. “Doddsy has taken charge, providing a lot of information, so we haven’t really found the time as players to talk about it. The decision on who gets appointed is in the hands of those above us. It’s beyond our control, and we’ll simply adapt to whatever happens.”

Reflecting on the managerial change, Ballard remarked, “As a collective group, we had a great rapport with [Mowbray]. He’s a genuinely good person and very relatable. There’s a bit of sadness because he dedicated himself completely during his time here, so we all wish him the best for the future.”

Dodds himself remains optimistic about Sunderland’s chances, maintaining that securing a spot in the playoffs is feasible for the team. Currently positioned just within the playoff places based on goal difference, Sunderland is ahead of Cardiff and Hull, both also sitting on 30 points.

He expressed, “Consider last year when we achieved a top-six finish – was that realistic? We accomplished it, so it’s within reach. Look at Luton; they’ve made it to the Premier League despite their budget constraints. It’s possible. However, one constant about this football club, although I wasn’t present here four or five years ago when things might not have been as optimistic, is their unwavering commitment to their principles. The club is resolute and steadfast in their vision for how they wish to operate. That’s abundantly clear and evident.”


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