MIKE Dodds still expects to be in charge of Sunderland until the end of the season and insists he isn't concerned about his own position going forward, despite Kristjaan Speakman confirming that the new boss will be given the green light to bring their own staff with them.

Previous boss Michael Beale arrived on his own and worked with a backroom team made up of coaches who were already in place at Sunderland.

However, Dodds has now revealed that Beale was actually given the go-ahead to bring a member of staff with him but his short tenure came to an end before an appointment was made.

Speakman confirmed this month - speaking at the Supporters' Collective meeting - that Sunderland would allow the new head coach to be joined by an assistant of his choice "providing it was an appropriate recommendation".

That might mean a new role down the line for Dodds, who was Beale's assistant in between two stints as caretaker boss this season, but the current interim head coach is relaxed about the situation.

Dodds is highly valued by Sunderland bosses and will almost certainly have a prominent role to play in the new-look coaching team in the summer, regardless of who gets the top job.

"I'm more than comfortable with it," said Dodds, who is looking for his first win of his second stint in charge when Sunderland head for Cardiff City on Friday afternoon.

"That was the case with Mick [Beale] as well. There was a conversation with Mick around bringing a member of staff in with him, but he would initially come in by himself.

"That was always the case with Mick, for whatever reason it just didn't happen. Nothing changed from when I took the team last time and Mick came in. Nothing has changed this time really, in terms of my position at the football club."


Sunderland have held talks with head coach candidates and are now lining up formal interviews, with Dodds still expecting to take the team until the summer.

He said: "As far as I'm concerned, the original conversation was take the team until the end of the season.

"If we find an ideal candidate between now and then, we'll let you know. I'm comfortable with whatever the outcome is.

"My priority is to win games of football. I'm not thinking about who the next head coach is with all due respect to that person.

"We need a result and we need a result really quickly. The next game and the next three games are going to be really important."

Sunderland have dropped out of play-off contention after a seven-game winless run and are now just nine points above the relegation zone ahead of the Easter double-header against Cardiff and Blackburn.

Dodds was unhappy with the performance in the home draw with QPR before the international break but insists his players are still in high spirits despite the recent slump.

He said: "They're not skipping up and down the corridors but the general feel around the environment is fairly positive.

"Like I've said previously, when the players have clarity on what we're trying to do, I think it becomes a lot easier for them to see the light at the end of the tunnel."