MIKE Dodds spent last night pondering how best to deal with his Sunderland players as he prepares for the inquest into yesterday's embarrassing defeat at the hands of Blackburn.

The interim head coach blasted his players in the Stadium of Light dressing room immediately after the game but said he must now decide whether it's best to speak to his squad as individuals or as a group as he sets about picking the bones out of the 5-1 hammering to Rovers.

Whatever he decides, Dodds' message will be clear: don't disrespect the Championship or the opposition. He felt his players took their eye off the ball and were complacent against Blackburn on the back of the impressive win at Cardiff on Friday. And Dodds admits he also needs to have a "long hard look at himself" after the defeat.

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"You're playing for Sunderland Football Club, a lot of the words that I've used since I've taken over the team are you've got to be respectful," he said.

"You have to be respectful to the league, opposition and how amazing this football club is.

"I think sometimes when young players get given opportunities - and they perform - they get a bit carried away. Sometimes I use that word to level them a little bit. What today has shown for some of our more inexperienced players is that if you don't show a level of respect you get kicked between the legs and that's what's happened to myself and the individuals in the dressing room."

He added: "I'm really angry with them. I took the team earlier in the season and I've obviously taken them now for six or seven games and I wouldn't say I've had the level of frustration I have right now but I go back to my mantra as a coach, the team should be reflective of the coach. If that's reflective of me then I need to have a long, hard look at myself.

"I don't think it is. I know deep down it isn't but at the same time when you're stood at the side of the pitch and you've had steps in the right direction and then you have a performance on Friday where there are foundations to build on, then you get something unrecognisable, it's a real humbling experience.

"But it's not about me, it's about the football club and the players. The next 48 hours, I'll watch the game back, make the decision whether it's an individual conversation or whether it will have more weight as a collective conversation.

"Then we need to dust ourselves down and get ready for Saturday. We have to do a huge amount more than we did there."