Advocaat: I’ve known for a month that Sunderland could have managerial vacancy

New Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat
New Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat
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DICK ADVOCAAT says he’s been aware for almost a month that there could be an opening to take charge at Sunderland.

Advocaat took part in his opening press conference as Sunderland head coach today after a rollercoaster week which saw Gus Poyet dismissed as Black Cats boss and the ex-Holland manager drafted in for the final nine games of the season.

We said we were available, so if it (the job) becomes available we could discuss it

Dick Advocaat

It was less than 24 hours between Poyet being sacked and Advocaat being appointed on a short-term deal after Sunderland finalised a deal with the 67-year-old late on Monday night.

But Advocaat says he has known for several weeks that there was a possibility of Sunderland coming calling.

Advocaat said: “Three or four weeks ago an agent called me and said if a club like Sunderland was interested, are you available?

“We said we were available, so if it (the job) becomes available we could discuss it.

“Last Monday was the first time that I spoke with Lee (Congerton, sporting director) and then it went on.”

Advocaat’s only objective is to keep Sunderland in the Premier League, with the Dutchman not expected to prolong his stay at the Stadium of Light at the end of the season.

Sunderland will reassess in the summer and appoint a long-term head coach, with Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement the leading contender for the position.

Advocaat has suggested to the Dutch press that he could be interested in prolonging his stay on Wearside, although he was keeping his cards close to his chest today.

“Let’s wait and see what happens in the next two months and then we will take a decision about that,” he said.

“We have nine finals, every game we go into is a final. That’s the way we like to deal with it.”

Advocaat takes over a club lying just one point and one place above the relegation zone, with Sunderland registering just a solitary Premier League win in 2015.

And the no-nonsense 67-year-old has made it quite plain to his players about the task in front of them - starting with tomorrow’s trip to West Ham.

“We are in a situation where everyone has to realise how important this is for our club and what a big club we are - big stadium, great spectators,” he added.

“We have to give the players the feeling that they have to do it.

“The players are not here because they are nice guys, it’s because they are good players.”