Kevin Phillips queries ‘strange’ Dick Advocaat Sunderland appointment

Dick Advocaat
Dick Advocaat
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Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips claims the appointment of Dick Advocaat as head coach on a one-year contract was a ‘strange’ move.

Dutchman Advocaat performed a U-turn at the end of the season to stay on after guiding the club to Premier League survival.

I found the appointment of Dick Advocaat on a one-year contract a very strange one – it was as if the board didn’t have a clear idea.

Kevin Phillips

He had initially turned down the chance to remain as Black Cats boss, only to sign a 12-month deal with the club.

It was a move met with acclaim by Sunderland fans – but not from strike legend Phillips.

In part three of an exclusive feature with him and Gary Rowell, Phillips questioned the move.

He said: “I found the appointment of Dick Advocaat on a one-year contract a very strange one – it was as if the board didn’t have a clear idea.

“I mean unless Sunderland are going to bring in someone who can work alongside Advocaat I don’t see what the way ahead for them is.

“They are going to be in exactly the same situation next summer with him leaving, unless they bring in someone who they can groom alongside him, a little like they seem to be doing with Giggsy at Man United.

“If they did that, they would have someone at the end of the year who was familiar with the club and the players and who know what needed to be done and could take it on.

Phillips, who has tipped Sunderland for another season of struggle, also believes that owner Ellis Short, director of football Lee Congerton and the rest of the board must start pulling together to help the club prosper.

He added: “I think they need a clear sense of direction and that has to run right through the club.

“The owner, the board, the management and the players all need to pulling in the same direction.

“They need investment and they need a long-term plan.”

Where do Sunderland go from here – Phillips and Rowell’s verdict on the club’s future