Chris Smith: Dick Advocaat has transformed Sunderland

Sunderland's manager Dick Advocaat
Sunderland's manager Dick Advocaat
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ON St Patrick’s day Sunderland announced Dutchman Dick Advocaat would take over the reins from ousted Gus Poyet, following a poor run of results.

Since he took charge, his charges have suffered only 2 defeats. The first came after a gritty performance at West Ham, when in the dying minutes we conceded a sloppy goal which was allowed even though there was a foul in the build up. The other loss was a 1-4 mauling from a rejuvenated Palace team, where the damage was limited to a ten minute collapse. On the positive side, we showed character and never gave up.

This loss, coming on the heels of a workman like demolition of our sworn enemies from up the road.

Since then, we have had another hard fought creditable draw at Stoke, and for the first time this season, back to back wins, to pull us out of the mire and a glimpse of survival hope.

So how has Dick done this How has he transformed a side that looked down and out?

My theory is, Advocaat is a player motivator. He has a wealth of experience. He has the ability to understand his players, their strengths and weaknesses, and make them gel as a unit. Defend from the front, with the hard working Danny Graham revitalised

A midfield that works tirelessly to negate threats and build attacking options, and a defence with a solid resolve. Backed up by an international goalkeeper now showing his worth. We do not know what the future holds, but the Advocaat effect is working.

* This article was sent into the Echo by a reader for our new Black Cats eight-page supplement, titled The Roar! - which will be in the paper every Wednesday.

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