, Mike Dodds promises more first-team chances for Sunderland man with ‘huge potential’

Mike Dodds promises more first-team chances for Sunderland man with ‘huge potential’

Sunderland interim boss Mike Dodds has said to expect more first-team chances for Timothee Pembele, in an interview with The Northern Echo.

Sunderland have hit a rough patch of late, losing six games on the spin. Their play-off hopes look to be drifting away with each passing game and now sit midtable.

They are currently 12th in the standings, 11 points off the top six and nine points above the relegation zone. Dodds will be hoping his side can get back to winning ways soon and finish the season strongly.

With the season coming to a close, this could mean chances for those on the peripheries of the first-team fold. One player who could bring some life to their performances is right-back Pembele.

Having signed from PSG in the summer he is yet to start a game for the Black Cats since arriving. He has played just five times in all competitions, but the interim boss has promised more minutes for the 21-year-old.

“He’s got huge pedigree, huge potential, but he hasn’t been able to force his way into the team. If I’m being brutally honest, I just think that’s because we’ve got one of the best right-backs in this league in Trai Hume,” he told the Sunderland Echo.

“If we’re speaking frankly, that’s the main reason why [he’s not been playing]. But in this period [when a number of players are out], you would expect to see more minutes for Timmy.”

Sunderland take on Queens Park Rangers in the Championship this afternoon, where they will be hoping to stop the rot. Pembele will be looking to get a few minutes off the bench or to make a unexpected start.

Sunderland move hasn’t gone to plan for Pembele

Since making the switch from PSG to Sunderland, the Frenchman may have thought it was almost a guarantee that he would be a regular fixture in the first-team fold. However this hasn’t come to fruition in a way all parties would have liked or expected.

Injuries and the form of Hume haven’t necessarily helped Pembele’s playing time and so he will be be hoping for more opportunities in the weeks and months to come between now and the end of the season.

Dodds’ comments that Sunderland supporters should expect to see more of him, and talking up his ‘pedigree’ and ‘huge potential’ will do the player the world of good, and no doubt he will take positives from his manager’s public comments this week ahead of the business end of the campaign.

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