Mike Dodds explains the Jobe Bellingham decision which should benefit Sunderland for Championship run-in

Sunderland boss Mike Dodds has explained why Jobe Bellingham did not go on international duty during the Championship break
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Mike Dodds says Jobe Bellingham is refreshed after a well-earned rest over the international period.

Bellingham has had an intense schedule since arriving from Birmingham City last summer, which has been added to by his youth international commitment. Bellingham did not go away with the age groups this time around, however, with Sunderland taking the decision to ease his workload ahead of the Easter fixtures and the Championship run in.

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The Black Cats also significantly reduced his training load over the break, and Dodds believes it was the right decision for all parties in the long run.

"We just felt as a football club... he's played 30-odd games," Dodds explained.

"We're very respectful to the international teams but our injury list at the moment isn't the best and for someone at 18 who has played the amount of games he has at the level he has, we felt it was more sensible for him to have a breather.

"He only came in for a couple of days over the two weeks, we gave him an extended period off to rest and recover which I think is sensible from both ours and England's perspective. He's been back in this week, he looks refreshed and I think both parties have done the right thing by him."

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Dodds is hoping to be able to name a more experienced squad for the upcoming fixtures, with Luke O'Nien back from suspension and Corry Evans, Bradley Dack, Aji Alese and Patrick Roberts all in contention for a place on the bench at least.