Joe Pennington: Whoever the next Sunderland manager is needs money and time

Former Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat

Former Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat

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It’s such a shame to see Dick Advocaat go.

In such a short space of time, we’d all taken him to our hearts, and he’d taken us to his. I don’t think I’ll ever see many more people shed a tear after a 0­-0 draw, especially when they’ve only been at the club for two months, but he’d done his job – mission complete.

But for the third season running, a managerial change at some point in the season has seen us survive by the skin of our teeth. We talk about 40 points being the magical mark for safety, but we haven’t reached that mark since Martin O’Neill took over from Steve Bruce in 2011, in what was another mid­-season swap.

Now Dick’s gone, the club have just over a month to find a new man before the pre-season fixtures begin. The online poll done by the Echo said 43.7 per cent of Sunderland fans want David Moyes to take the reins at the Stadium of Light, and personally I think he would be a great man to take the reins. But would he move from Sociedad to the Stadium of Light? I doubt it.

What the club must do, regardless of who takes over, is give him the financial backing and the time he needs. No Sunderland manager has been in charge of more than 100 games since Mick McCarthy. Every manager will go through a sticky patch, but in today’s world it only takes back­-to-back defeats for the media and fans to start casting doubts. Money talks. But there’s a huge difference between saying and doing. Let’s hope Ellis Short backs the new man to make sure that next May, we’re not in another relegation fight.