Belfast Telegraph

Sunderland search for new boss after Advocaat retires

Dick Advocaat has rejected the opportunity to become permanent head coach of Sunderland.

The Black Cats confirmed yesterday that the 67-year-old, who was drafted in in March for just nine games in which he was able to secure the club's Barclays Premier League status, would not be returning to Wearside.

Chairman Ellis Short said: "Although I am extremely disappointed, I understand and respect his decision. In his brief time here, he made a real impact and lifted the club with his experience and enthusiasm. We will always be grateful to him for what he achieved."

Advocaat (above) revealed he had received several offers of employment, but while admitting Sunderland was the only one he would have considered, decided to end his career in club football.

The Dutchman said: "At certain moments in your life, you have to make a decision and I am almost 68-years-old now. A number of clubs contacted me, but the decision was always Sunderland or nobody.

"I would like to thank the Chairman, (sporting director) Lee Congerton, the staff and of course the fans. We gave everything in our time there and achieved what we set out to. Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career."

Sunderland turned to Advocaat in desperate need after dispensing with the services of Gus Poyet, who had himself engineered a remarkable escape 12 months earlier.

Like Poyet and his predecessor Paolo di Canio, he led his team to derby victory over Newcastle in his second game.

In all, Sunderland collected three wins and three draws from the nine fixtures for which he was in charge, ensuring their league survival.

Belfast Telegraph

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