Mike Dodds issues very strong Sunderland verdict and makes 'sensational' claim after Leicester City defeat

Sunderland boss Mike Dodds insisted his side are on the brink of turning a corner
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Mike Dodds insisted his Sunderland side are on the right path and believes that a winning run is just around the corner despite their fifth defeat in a row.

Sunderland fell behind to the league leaders after Jamie Vardy's early goal, with the visitors completely dominant in the early stages and denied a bigger lead only by some excellent Anthony Patterson goalkeeping. Sunderland were much the better side in the second half, though, and struck the woodwork through Trai Hume's long-range effort.

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Dodds said he was very aware that results simply had to improve but said he was very proud of the second-half performance and feels it gives an insight into the kind of Sunderland team he wants to build.

"I'm really conscious around how I answer the question because that's five defeats on the bounce now and we have to buck that trend as quickly as possible," Dodds said.

"But I do feel in particular that second half in particular is a snapshot of the blueprint of how we all want to play.

"The frustrating bit is the first fifteen minutes and listen, I have to give Leicester credit because I thought they moved the ball so quickly. I actually liked how we pressed at times but they just moved it so well. Once the game settled down I felt we started to get a level of control, and in the second half I thought we were sensational. I don't want to be the guy throwing stats at people because I know it can be irritating and that they can be manipulated, but one of the guys there has just said their XG in the second half was 0.01 - I don't think there'd be many games where the opposition gets so nullified, never mind the best team in the league. There's loads of positives, the group are in a good spot but were also really aware that we have to buck this trend. I do feel that one win is just going into two, three four. I'm very aware and conscious that we have lost three games since I took charge but I also feel we've got better and better, so I'm going to take those positives.

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"I think we were better than when we played them earlier in the season, I just couldn't see them scoring or getting out in the second half. I thought we looked more of a threat even though we have got to do more. You've got two scholars on the pitch who should be playing youth-team football, an average age of 21.6, so to go toe-to-toe with a Premier League side in waiting should be a huge encouragement for everyone."

Dodds said he had not seen Dan Ballard's late penalty claim back, but said the defender was adamant he was fouled and added that he could not see why the defender would go down in that scenario unless he was fouled. Sunderland are back in action against Southampton on Saturday afternoon.