Sunderland AFC news: Team news as Mike Dodds delivers Leeds United verdict ahead of Elland Road match

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Sunderland interim boss Mike Dodds spoke to the media ahead the side’s Championship match against Leeds United at Elland Road.

Sunderland are preparing for their Championship match against Leeds United at Elland Road - and interim head coach boss Mike Dodds held his pre-match press conference today.

The Black Cats were held to a goalless draw against Bristol City on Saturday, with five league games remaining this season. Leeds are still in the hunt for automatic promotion but missed the chance to move top of the table when they were beaten 2-1 by Coventry on Saturday.

Here’s what was said at the Academy of Light as Dodds spoke to the media:

Mike Dodds press conference

Dodds asked about view the team could be 'on the beach'

“If any of the players, and they’ve been told this under no uncertain terms, if any of the players feel they want to start looking at holidays or getting their flip flops out, they won’t play for me and won’t play for the football club because this is an unbelievable football club and they should be privileged to wear the Sunderland shirt.”

Dodds on motivation for the last five games

“We want to get to the Premier League, that’s our ambition. I want to be at a football club that wants to get to the best league in the world. If we think, staff, backroom staff, people above me, players that put on the shirt, if we think we’re good enough to not turn up for five games and then next year mount a challenge, we are incredibly naive and probably stupid.

“There is loads of motivation for the next five games. The next five games can give us a foundation for the next 46.”

That brings us to the end of the broadcast section of the press conference, but Dodds has also spoken to the written press - including our reporter Phil Smith.

You can find more from the Black Cats boss and build-up to Tuesday’s match over on the SAFC section of the Echo website.

“The Championship is a brutal and relentless league. There are so many results every weekend that will be an eyebrow raiser. That being said I think Coventry are a really, really good team so the result doesn’t surprise me completely.

“I do think Leeds are one of the best teams, if not the best team in the league, and I said that when we played them previously. The reality is they are a really good team. Regardless of previous results and the players they have got on the pitch are Premier League quality.

“Whoever starts the game are going to have to be right at it.”

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