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Our writers have their say on Sunderland’s ongoing search for a new head coach!

As the hunt for Tony Mowbray’s successor goes on, how confident are we in the club’s process and their willingness to be patient in order to bring in the right man?

Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images


Jon Guy says…

I think this is such a crucial appointment that they have to take the time to get it right.

Tony Mowbray did a marvellous job last season, not just to keep us on an even keel after Alex Neil’s departure but to create a side that played good positive football despite the injuries we suffered.

Mike Dodds has shown us that there’s the basis of a great squad at Sunderland and that they can adapt to new shapes and tactics, but I don’t think it’s a job for him at this stage.

The pressure will be huge given where the club finds itself and the next appointment will need to be the coach that can build a side to get us promoted, but more importantly secure us in the Premier League when we get there.

It’ll need to be a very tactically astute coach and one that can support Kristjaan Speakman in identifying the players that not only fit the model but can tangibly improve the team.

Dodds is doing well, so Dreyfus has some time to really get this right and I think he needs to take it.

Sunderland v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Lars Knutsen says…

My initial reaction was disappointment that Tony Mowbray was dismissed, for two reasons.

First, he worked wonders at Sunderland, especially last season when he crafted some great team performances despite having up to ten players out through injury.

Second, I thought that results would suffer as the players struggled to get over the loss of a coach and father figure.

In the cold light of day, though, we’re in a results game, and we’ve lost eight games in the Championship this season. Mowbray had shown some tactical naivety at times, and the saying goes that nice guys don’t always win.

His exit shows the ambition of the club, and that we have to be competing at the top of this particular league otherwise there’ll be consequences.

One thing our club is good at is recruitment, and I’m sure that the hierarchy had a plan in place, but they obviously did not speak to candidates until the hot seat was empty.

However, up stepped Mike Dodds and we’ve seen two highly convincing tactical performances from him. He seems to be highly respected by the players, the tactics worked and we’re now six points better off than we were a week ago.

The club now can take their time over interviewing potential head coaches, and some may make demands that don’t fit ‘the model’. With that in mind, I’m fine with them taking their time over a crucial decision.

If we keep on winning games, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and company will have a decision to make. will Dodds one day develop into a top head coach, and why not with Sunderland?

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Malc Dugdale says…

It’s only a couple of games into Mike Dodds’ spell in charge but the early performance of the team and Dodds himself looks pretty promising.

I’m happy for the owners and the sporting director to take maybe another week or so to get the man who will be best for us based on that, and during that time I’d hope they will.

Anything longer than that and the suggestion that we have a model which is ready to replace any aspect at short notice may be suggested as flawed. It doesn’t take much to get the keyboard warriors going on that, as we know.

The upcoming games are going to be interesting, as in the past we’ve generally been better at taking on teams that have a go at us and don’t sit back.

With fixtures against the likes of Bristol City and Coventry to come, it’ll be interesting to see how we operate against teams who may put up the ‘low block’ that the players and Tony Mowbray really struggled with across the last month of his time in charge.

If Dodds can show that we have ways of overcoming those challenges too, I’d be happy to wait a bit longer.

Let’s ask this question after a couple more games, including ones in which we’re possibly challenged in other ways.

By then, I expect the new gaffer will be in place and thinking about how he can work with Dodds and others, hopefully building on this short sequence of success we’ve found, rather than derailing it.

Sunderland v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

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