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Mike Dodds reveals new coach timetable and defends Sunderland’s head coach decisions

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MIKE DODDS has defended the amount of time it has taken the Sunderland hierarchy to appoint a new permanent head coach, insisting Kristjaan Speakman and Kyril Louis-Dreyfus have “done the right thing” despite the club’s disastrous end to the season.

The Sunderland hierarchy have spoke to a number of potential candidates for their permanent head coach position, but as things stand, an appointment is not believed to be imminent.

“The club have had a significant amount of time to speak to a number of people, which I think was the right thing because the last appointment obviously didn’t go the way they wanted it to go,” said Dodds, whose side ended the campaign in 16th position in the Championship table. “So, I think they’ve made the right decision from that perspective.

“I think it’s seven weeks until we’re back in now, so we’ve done all our preparation this week in terms of what the next seven weeks look like for the players from an off-season perspective. We’ve started planning the first few weeks of pre-season.

“In those next seven weeks, actions will speak louder than words, whether that be the next head coach or players coming in or out. I feel like I’ve spoken a huge amount, and in the next seven weeks of the off season and then the six weeks of pre-season, it’s going to be a huge period for the football club, and actions will speak louder than words.”

Sunderland’s hierarchy are understood to have held talks with Bayern Munich youth coach Rene Maric as they assess where to turn next.

Will Still, who was interviewed prior to Beale’s appointment, is available following his departure from French side Reims last week, while Paul Heckingbottom is another out-of-work option following his dismissal from Sheffield United earlier this season.

Sunderland have also been linked with a possible move for Danny Rohl, who sealed Sheffield Wednesday’s survival when he oversaw the Owls’ 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light yesterday.

Dodds is expected to be part of Sunderland’s senior coaching team next term, but admits he remains completely in the dark about the likely identity of the new head coach.

“I don’t have any indications at the moment, and that’s not because the club haven’t communicated anything,” he said. “I was just so focused on trying to make sure we had a strong end to the season.

“Obviously, that hasn’t happened for multiple different reasons. But I’ve been so focused on that, I haven’t really engaged in any other conversations. I haven’t wanted to engage in any other conversations.

“Over the next few days, from a personal perspective, I’ve got some reflections that I need to have if I’m going to improve and get better. I’m going to be a little bit selfish in the next few days and focus on me.

“Then after that point, I’ll be back in next week and we’ve got a number of meetings planned, so I’m sure there’ll be an update next week in terms of where they are with the process and who the person is going to be.”

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