Belfast Telegraph

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat on Premier League survival mission

By Simon Peach

Dick Advocaat is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead at Sunderland after agreeing a short-term deal to become the embattled club's head coach.

Last weekend's embarrassing 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa proved the catalyst to Gus Poyet's demise, with the north-east outfit bringing his 17-month reign to an end on Monday.

The Black Cats wasted little time in naming a replacement, with Advocaat announced as successor just 18 hours later.

The 67-year-old has been given the reins at the Stadium of Light for the remainder of the season and is charged with halting Sunderland's slide as just one point separates them from the drop-zone with nine matches remaining.

"Sunderland is a big club and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead," said Advocaat.

"We must now concentrate on Saturday as a priority and I can't wait to get started."

A trip to West Ham lies in wait for Advocaat as Sunderland look for a much-needed win which would be only their second in 13 top-flight matches if they manage it.

Avoiding relegation will be a big ask, but the Dutchman looks as well placed as any to do so, given he has more than 30 years management experience both at club and international level.

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