REVEALED: Ellis Short and Lee Congerton’s delight at capturing Dick Advocaat

Ellis Short

Ellis Short

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Sunderland owner Ellis Short says he is delighted that Dick Advocaat has had a change of heart and agreed to return to the Stadium of Light.

Advocaat has put pen to paper on a one-year deal with Sunderland just a week after rejecting the club’s overtures to extend his stay.

Dick’s credentials in football are top class and we saw what an impact his vast knowledge and experience had on our team and the club as a whole in just two months.

Ellis Short

Short and sporting director Lee Congerton were desperate to keep hold of Advocaat after the Dutchman steered Sunderland to Premier League survival during the final nine games of last season, and were left bitterly disappointed when he we opted to go ahead with his retirement plans.

But Sunderland have remained in talks with Advocaat since and eventually prompted a U-turn from the 67-year-old over the last 48 hours.

Short said: “Dick’s credentials in football are top class and we saw what an impact his vast knowledge and experience had on our team and the club as a whole in just two months.

“Sunderland fans took him to their hearts and so did everyone at the club, so we are absolutely thrilled that he will be here longer term.”

Advocaat had been advising Congerton on potential successors, yet Sunderland were not convinced by the alternative options and remained keen on the ex-Rangers boss.

Congerton said: “Dick was always our number one choice and we were determined we weren’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer.

“I have been in constant contact with him over the last two weeks and I’m absolutely delighted that he has agreed to return.

“In just a short space of time he has bought into the club wholeheartedly and understands exactly what we need now in order to move forward.

“We have a lot of work to do to prepare for the season ahead and that starts in earnest now.”