Dick Advocaat in sensational Sunderland U-turn by signing one-year deal
Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat is staying on at the Stadium of Light after all. The Black Cats boss had previously decided to step down from the post after keeping the Wearside outfit in the Premier League, but now Dutch gaffer Advocaat has penned a new one-year contract at the club to remain in charge.
Sunderland, 2/1 chances with Coral not to be so lucky next season and go down, had been linked with Sam Allardyce, who recently left West Ham United, and Sean Dyche, following excellent work on a shoestring budget at Burnley, yet such interest was not firmed up.
It’s possible this change of heart could be down promises made by Black Cats chairman Ellis Short regarding recruitment – a thorny issue under previous head coach Gus Poyet.
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“After a lot of discussions with Ellis and [sporting director] Lee Congerton, they convinced me that I am the right man for the club,” Advocaat said to their official website.
“It was a great feeling to be part of Sunderland in the last few months, the experience was something very special and after talking with Lee, Ellis and of course my family, we all agree it is the right decision.”
Recent tabloid rumour mills have suggested the Black Cats are keen to recruit Uruguay centre back Sebastian Coates on a permanent basis from Liverpool, despite his patchy fitness record and the fact he is going to the Copa America with his country this summer.
Defence is one area in particular which requires investment, with Wes Brown and Anthony Reveillere, both 35, out of contract. Other names linked with signing for Sunderland are Wolves skipper Danny Batth, Manchester City outcast Micah Richards and Celtic anchorman Nir Bitton.
Advocaat has won three, drawn and lost as many Premier League games in charge of the Black Cats, but preserved their top-flight status during the penultimate match of the campaign with a 0-0 draw against Arsenal.
Sunderland were draw specialists in 2014/15, sharing the spoils on 17 occasions. Short will be keen to once again beat the drop, so the club can reap the rewards of that mega £5bn TV deal that comes in for the 2016/17 season.
It’s odds-on at 4/11 that Sunderland stay up in 2015/16.