Sunderland are more ruthless now - Dick Advocaat

Dick Advocaat

Dick Advocaat

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DICK ADVOCAAT believes Sunderland have become more ruthless under his stewardship after taking seven points from his five games at the helm.

Advocaat will look to keep Sunderland’s survival challenge on track at Everton tomorrow lunchtime, with the Black Cats still a point adrift of safety, albeit they have a game in hand on the four teams above them.

We only had nine weeks and after five weeks, you can see that it is improving.

Dick Advocaat

Since being appointed as the short-term successor to Gus Poyet back in March, Advocaat has won two of his five games in charge, but perhaps more crucially, Sunderland have begun to look a more threatening outfit in their last two outings, in particular.

Sunderland had netted just 23 times in 29 Premier League games under Poyet’s possession-based philosophy and Advocaat says it was clear that a more pragmatic approach needed to be adopted.

Advocaat said today: “We’ve only had nine weeks and after five weeks, you can see that it is improving.

“You cannot win only with passing.

“You still have to be ruthless to win man-on-man situations and get goals.

“They’d scored 23 goals all season, so you have to think what is the reason for that?

“You can keep passing, but it is all about scoring goals and winning duels.

“I like also to play, but we are not in the situation to do that.

“If you create chances, than sooner or later, you will score eventually.”

When Advocaat was appointed, it looked as if a point per game from his nine matches at the helm would be more than enough to beat the drop.

But with Leicester, in particular, finding form in the nick of time, Sunderland realistically may require at least four points from their remaining four games.

That makes tomorrow’s encounter all the more important, with Sunderland travelling to Arsenal and Chelsea over the final week of the season.

“Yes, I thought seven points would be enough,” added Advocaat.

“But we need three, four or probably more now.”