Mike Dodds outlines stance on his short and long-term future at Sunderland following latest interim stint

Sunderland interim head coach Mike Dodds has been discussing his short and long-term future at the club
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Mike Dodds says he is hopeful that his long-term future is at Sunderland regardless of whether or not he emerges as a candidate to take the job full time.

Dodds has begun his third stint as interim head coach, and his second this season. He says he loves the area and is desperate to help lead the club back to the Premier League, even if that is in his previous role within the senior coaching staff.

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Dodds said: "I hope so, I'm not stepping in to help out to get the sack at the end of it! I hope so, I've settled in the area and I absolutely love it.

"I think it's an unbelievable football club that will hopefully in the not too distant future be back where it belongs, but of course we've got to earn the right to be there and I want to be really respectful to all the other teams - there's nine teams ahead of us at the moment. But I see my long-term future here until the club tell me otherwise, that's where I'm at."

With Dodds installed until the end of the campaign, he admits his remit as interim boss will be far broader this time around, with greater responsibilities across a number of departments and looking ahead to a crucial summer.

“I’ll definitely be involved in a lot more areas, and that’s not lost on me," he said.

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"The first time I took the team, I didn’t expect to take one game, let alone two. The second time, it was clear I would take at least two, and it could go on to three or four. This time, there’s a lot more clarity and, from a personal perspective, I’m pleased about that. I know I’m taking the team for a prolonged period of time, and that allows me to process and think about all the wider issues that are important, and not just have to focus on the next two or three games. I know I’ve got 11 weeks’ worth of work.”

Dodds says his position on taking the job permanently has not changed since December, when he was open to the conversation but very mindful that it had to be the right time to take it on.

"I tried to answer it respectfully last time and where I'm at with it is, I'm really respectful of how big this football club is and that there will be hundreds of people who would love to be in this position," Dodds said.

"So I'm not going to come out and say I don't want the job, because I'm respectful of the fans first and foremost, I'm respectful of Sunderland as a football club but at the same time, I want to be a head coach one day and I appreciate that my first opportunity might be my last opportunity. So it's got to be right for me in terms of my process and what I want to do.

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"I wasn't throwing my hat in the ring twelve weeks ago and not a lot has changed since then from my perspective. I'm happy to help out and happy to keep working with the players, because I love working for the football club. In terms of my timeline, though, not a huge amount has changed."