Sunderland AFC news: Southampton team news as Mike Dodds discusses Chris Rigg and injuries

Sunderland interim boss Mike Dodds spoke to the media ahead of Saturday's match against Southampton.
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Sunderland are preparing for their Championship match against Southampton at St Mary's - and interim boss Mike Dodds held his pre-match press conference.

The Black Cats were beaten 1-0 by league leaders Leicester on Tuesday and have now lost their last five matches. Southampton remain fourth in the table after their league game against Preston was postponed on Wednesday, with Russell Martin's side beating Birmingham 4-3 last weekend.

Here's what was said at the Academy of Light as Dodds spoke to the media:

Mike Dodds press conference

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Mike Dodds' pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's Championship match against Southampton.

The Black Cats' interim boss is set to speak to the media at 1:30pm and we'll have live updates from the Academy of Light.

Stick around and refresh the page for live updates.

We'll start with the Sunderland team news.

Luke O'Nien is set to serve a two-match suspension after receiving his 10th yellow card of the season against Leicester last weekend.

Corry Evans and Bradley Dack have returned to training in recent weeks but are set to play for the under-21s side before making their first-team comeback. Aji Alese has also been part-training as he recovers from the issue he picked up in January.

Patrick Roberts (hamstring) and Jack Clarke (ankle) remain sidelined, along with Dennis Cirkin (hamstring), Niall Huggins (knee) and Elliot Embleton (ankle).

We'll get a further update from Dodds later today.

Dodds on Southampton vs Preston being postponed

“It feels like there are a lot of small things going against me and us at the moment. We just have to focus on controlling the controllables.”

Dodds on the team available

“I believe in the players, I believe in the group. The team that was out the other night was the team. You could compare that to the Leicerster game where they controlled 45 minutes of football. They can do it. I feel they are just one result away from it turning.”

Dodds on fine margins

“I don’t think the games, apart from maybe the first 30 minutes at Swansea, I think the games have been really tight. We have to turn those fine margins in our favour.”

Dodds on recent challenges

"This isn’t about Mike Dodds. I understand I have to have one eye on what I want to achieve, but I think anyone who looks at it can see I’ve had a hard hand.”

Dodds on Southampton

“I think Russell Martin has had a very clear identity of how he wants his team to play. I think they have so much individual quality. It was similar to Leicester. When I watch it back I’ve just got to give Leicester credit. I thought they started the game really well and a couple of Premier League-quality passes that sliced us open. It’s whether the players can win their indivu=idual duels to get the result.”

Dodds on Luke O'Nien's suspension

“He spoke to me this morning. He wants to travel and be around the group. I think it’s really important we have someone of his character around the group.”

"Bradley Dack is training with the group. He's probably going to be a few more weeks.

"Corry is training with the group but we need to be careful with Corry. Aji is part-training.

"Patrick and Jack aren't on the grass."