Sunderland's under-23s situation explained following Elliott Dickman's move to Newcastle United plus verdict on new signing

Sunderland will make a decision at the end of the season about the management of their under-23s set-up – with Mike Dodds and Michael Proctor set to stay in charge for the remainder of this campaign.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 6:00 am

The Black Cats had to make changes to their coaching structure after Elliott Dickman left his role as under-23s boss to join Newcastle in October.

That meant former Sunderland striker Proctor, who was working as the under-23s’ assistant manager, stepped up to lead the team alongside Dodds, who joined the club as Head of Individual Player Development from Birmingham in the summer.

When asked about the situation and Sunderland’s plans for the role, Dodd told the Echo: “We are quite fortunate because Proc knows the club like the back of his hand and knows the players like the back of his hand.

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Michael Proctor (above) and Mike Dodds have taken charge of Sunderland's under-23s side following Elliott Dickman's departure.

“That transition has been seamless and from my perspective the staff have been really good in terms of making me feel welcome.

“At the moment there is no massive rush to make a decision because Proc has stepped up with myself to manage the group.

“From my understanding a decision will be made at the end of the season and the two of us will kind of carry on through to then.”

Sunderland recently added forward Nicky Gyimah to their under-23s group, and he opened the scoring during Monday’s 2-0 win over Reading.

Gyimah, 18, was forced off with a minor knock in the second half but should be available for Sunday’s trip to Middlesbrough.

"Nicky has been a good find for us,” added Dodds after the Reading game. “As you can see he’s still not match fit and I think he struggled a little bit in the second half.

"In the first half he looked direct, he took his goal well and I thought his movement in behind to break the last line was impressive.

“He has to tidy up when he gets the ball between the lines but he is a good age.

"He’s 18 and we want to try and work with him to see if we can tidy him up in those areas - if he does he might have half a chance.”

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