Mike Dodds names the two Sunderland players in line for more minutes after impressing in Leicester City defeat

Mike Dodds saw positives despite Sunderland's fifth straight Championship defeat
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Chris Rigg and Adil Aouchiche have strengthened their claims for greater game time between now and of the season after impressing Mike Dodds during Sunderland's defeat to Leicester City.

Rigg was handed his first Championship start by Dodds and caught the eye with an energetic display, particularly in the second half where he caused the visitors significant problems. The interim head coach said the 16-year-old had played so well that he ended up staying on the pitch longer than initially planned, and that fans can be excited about watching his development over the coming weeks and months.

“I really liked his [Rigg] performance," Dodds said.

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"I thought he was really selfless in terms of the out-of-possession stuff because they tweaked one or two things which we didn’t expect. I felt Riggy adapted to it really well. The plan was to maybe get an hour out of him, but I knew he would go to the well. I knew he would give us absolutely everything, and that’s why I thought it was a really good game for him, because we needed everyone to empty the tank. I just felt that, in the second half, he was so effective, I left him on for as long as I possibly could, taking into account that he’s a first-year scholar. People should be excited by Riggy. I’m excited to work with him over the next few years, I think he’s potentially a wonderful talent."

Dodds had praised Adil Aouchiche's improved 'concentration and focus' behind the scenes of late and was pleased to see him carry that into his encouraging cameo from the bench against Leicester. 

“I thought Adil was excellent when he came on," Dodds said.

"We’ve got Adil in a good spot in terms of his concentration, and I said to him after the game, ‘You’ve got to stay on this path now – you can’t come away from the direction you’re going’. I was really happy with Adil and the impact that he made coming off the bench.”

Sunderland face Southampton on Saturday looking to end their five-game losing streak.