Dick Advocaat’s dramatic U-turn is great news for Sunderland fans, according to two prominent supporters.
The Black Cats today confirmed the Dutchman had decided to sign a one-year deal to stay on as head coach, just a week after he said he would continue with his plans to retire from football.
The 67-year-old led Sunderland to Premier League safety during his short spell in charge last season, and appeared to take the club to his heart.
That feeling appears to have been mutual with Sunderland fans, who will now be able to ‘relax’ over the summer.
Martyn McFadden, editor of fanzine A Love Supreme, said: “I’m really happy about it.
“I’m guessing he has probably been in a man huff for a week and his missus has had enough of him already in his retirement, so has sent him back to Sunderland.
“It’s good news all round, and I think everyone will be happy.
“We’ll now be able to relax, enjoy the sunshine and let a more than capable manager get on with putting the team together over the summer.”
Mr McFadden is now hopeful Sunderland owner Ellis Short will loosen the purse strings and release funds for signings over the coming months.
He added: “It has worked out quite well in that it will probably strengthen Advocaat’s bargaining position with Ellis Short when it comes to summer transfers.
“They had a look around and realised there was no one outstanding who was immediately available.
“You can only presume they have offered him more money to spend, which is only good news for Sunderland fans.
“The lack of investment in the team over the last four years has been highlighted by the battles against relegation.
“They fell down on player recruitment last summer after Gus Poyet had saved the club from relegation. In today’s terms, he had hardly anything to spend. You’ve got to spend a lot of money just to stand still now.”
Advocaat has committed to the Stadium of Light club for the next 12 months, and some fans are hoping his long-term successor may sit alongside him in the dugout.
Sunderland AFC Supporters Association chairman George Forster said: “I’m delighted with the news.
“We must have left a good impression on Dick. He has a football brain that is good enough to see what the problems are and get them sorted out.
“I think it would be good if he brought in someone alongside him who could be moulded as his long-term successor, because if that doesn’t happen, we could end up in the same situation again in a year’s time.
“I thought they would have appointed their Plan B manager by now, because Advocaat said he wasn’t going to stay. It looks as if there was no Plan B.
“I’m pleased, though, because we need some stability at this football club, and don’t want to keep going through managers like we have.
“I’m delighted with the news, and let’s hope we have a good season ahead.”