Advocaat enjoys 'lucky' win
Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat admits his side's 2-0 win at Everton was lucky but not undeserved as the Black Cats edged closer to Premier League survival.
Their first goal from Danny Graham - his first in his 28-month spell at the club - had a huge slice of fortune as the striker deflected Jordi Gomez's shot, and when Toffees midfielder James McCarthy's shot beat goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon but rebounded off the post there was a feeling it was to be their day.
Jermain Defoe then diverted home Adam Johnson's deflected shot for another messy goal - but what was important was a vital win which lifted the side to 36 points, with fellow strugglers Leicester to visit the Stadium of Light next weekend.
"We were lucky today. At some moments they outplayed us but our back five including the goalkeeper did really well," said the Dutchman.
"Some other players played well last week but they had more problems with Everton, but at the end of the day we got three points and I try to forget the nature of things.
"It was not a great game by our side but at the other end it was very effective and that is what counts.
"It is not only luck, they worked very hard. The defence stood behind us and if you have the commitment to give everything even against a better team, you can get results."
Advocaat once more selected three up front, with Defoe and Connor Wickham either side of Graham, and it paid off again.
"I like that. I think if we play three up front the defence line from the other side has to be careful as well," he added.
"I told our players 'You are three well-known players, show it today, make them a little bit nervous'.
"We didn't create a lot but they know if someone is open then you can do it."
Sunderland have taken 10 points from the six matches Advocaat has been in charge but he admits the relegation battle is not something he particularly enjoys.
"I still enjoy it the other way (challenging at the top end of the table), if you don't mind," he added.
"I just came to this club seven weeks ago. The club took a risk as well and hopefully we will do the job properly and we can be happy at the end (of the season)."
Everton had scored in their previous seven league matches but a first home defeat of 2015 was frustrating for manager Roberto Martinez.
"You have to score goals. I would have been very disappointed if we had not found the way to have an attacking threat or it had been a pedestrian game," he said.
"I don't think today has been that case but we cannot be happy with what happened in the 18-yard box.
"I don't think we were sharp enough. We had 22 attempts, 15 corners, 75 per cent possession.
"The technical aspect of the performance was very good and I thought we opened Sunderland up in many occasions.
"Today everything that could have gone against us in our box did - like a deflected shot the first time they got anywhere near our 18-yard box.
"The two goals are very unfortunate, the second John Stones gets impeded by Steven Fletcher."