Mike Dodds answers the big Jobe Bellingham question after outstanding Sunderland display

Jobe Bellingham led his Sunderland side to a 2-0 win at Cardiff City on Good Friday
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Mike Dodds says Jobe Bellingham is likely to retain his striking role for Sunderland - for the short term at least.

Dodds said he felt his team needed the 18-year-old's physical presence up front and the decision paid off handsomely, with Bellingham winning a penalty and then scoring a close-range finish as the Black Cats ended their seven-game winless run at Cardiff City.

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Bellingham has mostly played in midfield this season but has enjoyed some success up front and caught the eye not just with his goal but with his all-round play in the Welsh capital.

"It might be hard to shift him in terms of we've had a positive result, he's scored a goal and done really well," Dodds said.

"But to be honest, Jobe is the kind of kid who is a coaches dream, he'll play anywhere you want. If I asked him to go in goal then he'd just crack on with it.

"I played him up front in my previous stint so it's something I've done before. I just felt we need a physical presence at the top of the pitch and what he has got that not many other number nines in this league will have is unbelievable quality with his feet. We should be really excited the performance, hopefully it's something that we can build on moving forward. I thought he gave us a platform to play off and I'm really happy for him because he had been moved around a huge amount this season, and I think that's now seven goals for an 18-year-old in the Championship - it's unbelievable."

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Dodds says he has spoken with Bellingham about his best position but was keen to stress how well he is performing in his first full season of professional football.

"I think he can be anything he wants to be, to be honest," Bellingham said.

"I have had some private conversations with Jobe about his best position and my thoughts on that, and that will stay private between us. Jobe's an 18-year-old who has to carry the weight of his brother which is sometimes unfair. If you take that to one side, you've seen an 18-year-old who should be playing youth team football performing exceptionally well. It was a big performance from him."