Advocaat ends coaching career after seeing Sunderland safe

Dick Advocaat will not continue as Sunderland head coach, having steered the Wearside club to safety. Coral make the Black Cats 7/4 to be relegated under new management next term.

Former PSV Eindhoven, Rangers and Netherlands national boss Advocaat, 67, only took on the Stadium of Light job short-term as Gus Poyet’s successor in March and, given his advanced years, always looked unlikely to be anything else but a stop-gap.

He managed the Mackems for just nine games, winning three, drawing and losing as many, and this symmtery proved enough to keep the club in the Premier league.

“Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career,” Advocaat 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.”

Black Cats chairman Ellis Short must now begin the search for a successor, but paid tribute to Advocaat, who has largely managed at international level since 2005.

Although I am extremely disappointed, I understand and absolutely respect his decision,” Short said of Advocaat. “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.”

Sam Allardyce, a former Newcastle United boss, is a very early favourite to succeed Advocaat, though Sunderland may be monitoring Slavisa Jokanovic, who has reportedly reached an impasse with newly promoted Watford regarding a pay rise.

Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement, strongly linked with the vacncy at Derby County, could be another alternative, but like Jokanovic this would be a serious step up for Carlo Ancelotti’s number two at the Bernabeu, PSG and Chelsea.

The Premier League’s Northeast pair could also have a tug-of-war over Steve McClaren, sacked from the aforementioned Rams earlier this week. Michael Laudrup, who steered Swansea City to the Capital One Cup, and David Moyes are other prominent figures currently coaching abroad linked with the post.

Investment is needed in a Black Cats squad that struggled this season, scoring the joint second fewest Premier League goals (31) and recorded 17 draws with just seven wins. Nonetheless, Sunderland are odds-on at 2/5 to beat the drop and stay in 2015/16.