Mike Dodds explains his 'biggest disappointment' in verdict on what went wrong in Sunderland's latest defeat

Sunderland fell to their sixth defeat in a row at Southampton on Saturday
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Mike Dodds says his Sunderland side didn't show enough quality on the ball as they fell to a sixth consecutive Championship defeat at Southampton.

The Black Cats went into the interval 2-0 behind after a dismal first half performance, with goals from Stuart and Adam Armstrong handing the hosts a lead their play deserved. Romaine Mundle and Jobe Bellingham both scored to level the game briefly, but a brace from substitute Joe Rothwell secured the three points for the hosts.

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Dodds said he couldn't criticise the application of his side but said he understood the need to quickly turn results around.

"The four goals are avoidable goals so that's a real disappointment from my perspective," Dodds said.

"Nothing really changed from a tactical perspective from first half to second half, the difference was that we were more aggressive and that's the frustration that I have.

"I want to try and spin a load of positives in that we've come up against two really high-quality teams against Leicester and Southampton and for large periods gone toe to toe with them, but we need to do that consistently and we also need to make sure that we get results. I am frustrated but I do see a group that is really trying, it just feels like things aren't falling for us.

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"The first half, there were pockets and moments where someone didn't commit to the press or an element of the game plan, and when you play against a team of their quality you can't have that," he added.

"My biggest disappointment in the first half was our quality with the ball, we didn't have enough quality in terms of retaining it. From a technical perspective and an individual perspective, I thought we gave them the ball back too easily whereas in the second half we had more energy and quality - and it was that which gave us a foothold in the game.

"It's been labelled at the group in the past in terms of the inconsistency, for me today the frustration is with what we did technically in possession rather than it being about the mentality out of possession."

Sunderland face QPR next weekend before the international break.

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