February 20, 2024

Sunderland have only just changed managers. But as pressure build on Michael Beale, another change could be on the horizon sooner than expected.

Last month, Sunderland fired Tony Mowbray and brought in 43-year-old Belle in his place.

Although the selection of the former QPR and Rangers manager was unexpected and unimpressive, the supporters did their best to support him.

After a 3-0 loss against Coventry City at home in his first game in charge, supporters have totally lost faith in their present manager.

The 1-0 loss to Hull City at home last night encapsulated the sentiments of Sunderland supporters regarding Beale: they have no faith in his ability to lead the team to success or in his boring style of play.

Many are urging the owners of Sunderland to take a hard line and make a change before matters worsen.

And journalist Michael Graham thinks Mike Dodds could lead the club after Beale’s potential exit.

Michael Graham tips Mike Dodds to replace Beale for the remainder of the season

Sunderland star pays tribute to 'tactically good' Mike Dodds after West  Brom win - Sports Illustrated Sunderland Nation

Dodds, 37, has now served as Sunderland’s acting manager twice; the second time was following Mowbray’s resignation last month.

He is now Beale’s backup; in the seven games played thus far, Beale has won two, and in the three games in which Dodds has filled in as temporary manager, Dodds has also overseen two victories.

Under Dodds’ direction, Sunderland defeated Leeds United as well as West Brom.

Graham has stated that Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and company will allow Beale a little more time to “save face” before possibly firing him “before season card renewal packs go out,” since Beale is coming under increasing pressure.

Graham also proposes that Dodds be appointed by the board for a summer term.

Sunderland’s season is dead and buried, until they make Beale call

The league position right now paints an overly-positive picture for Sunderland.

Beale’s argument will be that the club remains in play-off contention; sitting in 8th and just two points outside the top six.

But going off recent form and last night’s performance in particular, Sunderland will do very well to remain in top six contention between now and May.

Sunderland then look like they’re heading towards a mid-table finish, which after their positive return to the Championship last time round and positive start to this season, would be a bitter disappointment.

Unless they take a daring decision regarding Beale right now.

Sacking Beale and handing the position over to Dodds or to someone like Will Still, Sunderland’s first pick before to Beale, would be a wise decision, though perhaps not a financially prudent one for the Black Cats.

Even while laying the groundwork and establishing a foundation is crucial to getting to the Premier League, the Sunderland owners run the risk of losing a lot of support from the supporters if they continue to work with Beale.

Naturally, there’s always a chance that Beale makes a difference, but as of right now, that doesn’t appear likely.

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