Robbie Stockdale on Sunderland's managerial search and injury problems for Millwall game

Stockdale says he has had no conversations about taking the Sunderland job permanently
Stockdale says he has had no conversations about taking the Sunderland job permanently
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Robbie Stockdale insists he has not asked to be considered for the permanent managerial role at Sunderland.

Stockdale will lead the side into the Championship clash with Millwall on Saturday afternoon as the Black Cats continue their search for a successor to Simon Grayson.

The 37-year-old has now been leading the team for two and a half weeks but has been given no indication as to when that will change.

He said: "I’ve said all the way through, the only conversations I’ve had is one, the Middlesbrough game, then two, can I look after the Millwall game. That’s it.

"I can only concentrate on the next game. Right now that’s Millwall, that’s my sole focus.

"I’ve had no conversation with the football club beyond that and that was a mutual agreement. I didn’t want any fogginess, I wanted the clarity of mind to prepare for the game as best I can.

"Beyond that, we see what happens. If that means we have a conversation Saturday night to say you do the game Tuesday, great, if not, fine. I’m employed to do a good job and I’m looking forward to the game."

Stockdale also revealed that he could be without Gabon midfielder Didier Ndong as he looks to lift his side off the bottom of the league.

Billy Jones and Lamine Kone will also be missing to leave him short on defensive options but there have been positive developments elsewhere over the course of the international break.

Stockdale said: "Lamine is still missing, that’s obviously been put out there before. Billy Jones picked up an injury in the Middlesbrough game, it looks like he’ll be missing for a further three or four weeks on that.

"I don’t think it’s that bad [a break or fracture], but it is certainly bad enough to rule him out for a significant length of time. It’s a shame, he’s a senior member of the squad but it gives other people an opportunity to come in.

"Tyias has trained, I’ll have to make a judgement on whether I think he is fit to start but he is certainly in contention.

"There’s a question mark of Didier Ndong, sadly there has been a family bereavement so for compassionate reasons we’ll check on him on the morning."

Duncan Watmore missed the 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough but Stockdale has encouraging news on his fitness.

He said: "Duncan was in the team before the Middlesbrough game but felt something just wasn’t quite right with his knee, so he was a little bit worried as we all were. He missed the game and thankfully the specialist and the scans showed there was nothing to be too worried about so he’s available tomorrow.

"He was going to be in the team, so obviously we missed something without him. Somebody who plays like him, who can run and before you know it take you from the edge of your box to the edge of theirs, of course, any team would miss a player like that."