Jack Rodwell backs Dick Advocaat to save Sunderland from drop

POSITIVE: Rodwell.
POSITIVE: Rodwell.
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JACK Rodwell is backing the vast experience of new head coach Dick Advocaat to drag Sunderland out of relegation trouble.

The 67-year-old Dutchman was handed the task of preserving the club’s Barclays Premier League status on Tuesday just hours after Gus Poyet’s reign on Wearside was brought to an abrupt conclusion.

Dick Advocaat.

Dick Advocaat.

Advocaat will have just nine games in which to complete his mission with the Black Cats sitting precariously a point above the drop zone, but midfielder Rodwell is confident his knowledge and background will stand him in good stead.

He told SAFSEE: “His CV speaks for itself, really. A man of his experience, it’s always good to come into, especially for young players like myself and a few of the other lads, so it’s all good. We are all raring to go.

“He has come in, he’s had a little initial meeting with us. Obviously, he’s only been here two days and I’m sure the next couple of days, he will have a lot more to say about opponents and all that.

“But he just expects us to give our 100 per cent best, as we always do, so things like that, which are standard, really.”

A man of his experience, it’s always good to come into, especially for young players like myself and a few of the other lads.

Jack Rodwell

Advocaat’s track record is extensive and includes spells as the national manager of six different countries as well as in club football in Holland, Scotland and Russia, but rarely have his talents been needed to have such an instant impact as they do at the Stadium of Light.

He is due to meet the media for the first time on Friday before sending out his team at West Ham the following day.

In the meantime, he will have to repair the psychological damage of last Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat by Aston Villa which ultimately cost Poyet his job and engineer the kind of finish masterminded by the Uruguayan at the end of last season to complete a remarkable escape.

Advocaat will be able to call upon former England winger Adam Johnson, whose club suspension was lifted on Wednesday, as a police investigation continues following his arrest on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16 earlier this month.

However, he will have to weigh up the player’s state of mind and fitness – he has been training alone at home – before he can consider using him in a game.