Sunderland fans say Advocaat’s an improvement – but there’s a long way to go after West Ham defeat

FAN REACTION: We asked Sunderland shoppers what they thought of Dick Advocaat's first match as manager.
FAN REACTION: We asked Sunderland shoppers what they thought of Dick Advocaat's first match as manager.
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SHOPPERS were supportive of Dick Advocaat after his first game as manager ended in defeat.

We asked people at The Bridges in Sunderland what they made of the result and Advocaat’s opening match as manager after the Black Cats lost 1-0 at West Ham on Saturday.

He didn’t have enough time to get influence over the team or to get his ideas across.

John Haswell, Sunderland fan

Sunderland fan Andrew Thompson, 24, said the match had shown improvement.

The Northern Powergrid worker, from Washington, said: “There was more attacking football from the players than we’ve seen recently. It was an improvement.

“They were unlucky to not get a win or a draw at least.”

Barry Flood, a Sunderland season ticket holder, from South Shields, said: “It was an average game but they’ve been average for weeks, in fact they’ve been worse than average.”

The 54-year-old civil servant added: “They were a bit unlucky at the end. A draw would have been a more reasonable result.”

Nissan worker Stephen Hall, 39, a Sunderland fan, from Newbottle, said: “The formation was better. There was more responsibility with the players than with the manager himself.

“Dick can only pick a side from what he’s got. He hasn’t had time to gain influence over them.

“It’s very early days. We’ve just got to wait and see what he can do for them.”

Ryan Kennedy, 24, a sports journalist for Sunderland University’s website, said he felt the players were more organised.

The Liverpool fan, who lives in the city centre, said: “I thought they were more organised. It looked like they’d worked on getting into four more at the back. They were much better but still a little naive. I think they deserved a draw but they were naive at the 
end.”

Lecturer Angus Walker, 43, a Newcastle United supporter, from Low Fell, Gateshead, said: “I watched the match and I thought it seemed a lot more structured.

“I was hoping West Ham were going to win 6-0 or something like that but they only got one past. Sunderland played well.”

Sunderland season ticket holder John Haswell, of Fulwell, said Advocaat didn’t have enough time to build an influence over the team.

The 58-year-old, a retired financial advisor, said: “He didn’t have enough time to get influence over the team or to get his ideas across.

“They were beaten by a goal that should never have stuck because it was a free kick leading into it.

“They did well but they should have got a draw.”