Mike Dodds sends emotional message to Tony Mowbray on behalf of Sunderland staff and players

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Tony Mowbray is taking time away from management to undergo medical treatment

Mike Dodds sent his best wishes to Tony Mowbray after the former Sunderland boss stepped away from the Birmingham City dugout for medical treatment.

Mowbray is expected to be absent for around six to eight weeks, with his long-term assistant and close friend Mark Venus taking charge. Mowbray is still offering advice and support to Venus and Dodds revealed that he had even taken the time to wish Dodds all the best for his second interim spell this week.

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Dodds said the news had left him to reflect on just how big an influence Mowbray had on him during their time working together, and said the Sunderland dressing room were upset by the news. He said everyone at the club was rooting for Mowbray and his family and were looking forward to seeing him in the dugout soon.

"Tony spoke to me after the game on Saturday so I was aware of the situation before it came out on Monday," Dodds said.

"I felt it was important that the players heard it from me on Monday before it broke on social media, so I spoke to the players on Monday about it.

"It's amazing when something like this happens to a good man, you don't realise the influence they've had on you. Sunday was a very difficult day for me personally, and the other staff, Alessandro [Barcherini] and Michael Proctor, we are really disappointed for Tony. I know the dressing room were upset on Monday.

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"Everyone associated with the football club we wish him all the best, I have spoken to him.

"He's obviously going through what he's going through and then in the week he has the class to pick the phone up to me and wish me all the best, and say some really nice things about me when he has his own personal things going on. We hope he’s back in the dugout as soon as possible.”

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