April 24, 2024

Sunderland were held to a goalless draw by QPR on Saturday afternoon.
Mike Dodds said that Sunderland’s performance against QPR was the most disappointing since he took over as interim head coach, but commended Anthony Patterson for his part in ending the club’s losing streak.

QPR appeared to take three points from a terrible game when Sinclair Armstrong set up Chris Willock for a big late chance at the Stadium of Light, but Patterson did brilliantly to get across goal and make a reflex stop. Patterson also made a crucial save to deny Lucas Andersen in the first half, keeping the score level.

While the clean sheet helped to put an end to Sunderland’s dismal run of results, Dodds refused to hide his unhappiness with the performance. Sunderland failed to register a single shot on target throughout the game, and while Dodds stated that his injury-plagued squad was giving it their all, he noted that he, the players, and himself all needed to provide more.

“The performance I was really disappointed with, both first and second half,” Dodds was quoted as saying.

“We huffed and puffed but showed no genuine skill in the game, and it was not limited to the top half of the pitch; I thought we were slow and ponderous, especially given our build. I must continue to engage with them; they are a group in need of assistance, and I bear a significant portion of that obligation.

 

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“I believe you’ll naturally get some aid when you get some bodies back, but I thought that was a really naive performance. I think in the last four games, I’ve probably tried to look at areas of the game that I really liked – there wasn’t much that I liked about that one. We’ll have several bodies back for the Easter weekend, which everyone knows will be a tremendous benefit to the group. I can’t fault their efforts; they’re giving it their all, but we’re running out of time right now, and I can’t change that.”

Patterson’s performance demonstrated his potential, and Dodds claimed it validated the club’s belief in the 23-year-old.

“I don’t take any satisfaction when the goalkeeper keeps you in the game because it tells you that there’s a chain of events leading up to that point that you can either stop or make better decisions,” Dodds said in a statement.

“On the other hand, I have to commend Patta because he made an incredible save at the end. He hasn’t had much to do in the game, but I believe making big saves in that situation is a sign of a great goalie. I know he’s received some criticism this season, but I believe that save supports our conviction that he’s one of the greatest goalkeepers in the division.”

Dodds also lauded Dan Ballard for playing despite missing a week of training due to a hamstring ailment.

“He’s a great kid who enjoys playing for the club and has the potential to be Northern Ireland’s captain.” He’s one of the top centre halves in the division, and he demonstrated his character by getting out there for us today.”

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