Sunderland chairman Ellis Short and sporting director Lee Congerton face a critical challenge to find the right man for the Stadium of Light hotseat.
That’s the message from A Love Supreme editor Martyn McFadden and Black Cats legend Micky Horswill as the club starts the search for the Dutchman’s successor.
We need somebody to take the club on for the next five years and take it to where we want it to be .Micky Horswill
Martyn McFadden was saddened by Advocaat’s departure but sympathised with his choice.
“I am disappointed he is not staying, but I can understand his decision,” said Martyn.
“We should probably thank him for keeping us in the Premier League then move on and try to find another manager who is as good as he is.
“It would have been great to keep him, but he has made a decision to retire at the end of the season and he has gone out on a high, saving our season.
“At least we have all summer to find somebody. I suppose it is over to the club now.
“Whoever they bring in I hope they back him with a realistic budget, so we don’t end up in the same position as we have over the last few seasons.”
Martyn refused to be drawn on who might be in the Black Cats’ dug-out come kick-off on August 8.
“Jose Mourinho would do me,” he joked.
“Seriously, I’m not going to make any predictions, because it always ends up being somebody else.”
Micky Horswill was not too unhappy to see Advocaat go: “He is a good manager but we don’t need somebody for a year,” he said.
“We need someone who is going to build the club up from the roots.
“We need somebody to take the club on for the next five years and take it to where we want it to be.
“I don’t know who they might have in mind, but we definitely need somebody experienced.”