Right investment in right places can end Sunderland’s cycle of struggle, vows Advocaat

Vito Mannone suffers as Diego Costa celebrates hitting Chelsea's penalty leveller today
Vito Mannone suffers as Diego Costa celebrates hitting Chelsea's penalty leveller today
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Dick Advocaat believes Sunderland can end the cycle of annual relegation struggles with the right investment this summer.

Sunderland yesterday brought the curtain down on what has largely been another miserable campaign for the club, with the 16th-placed Black Cats finishing just three points clear of the relegation zone.

It is the third year on the spin that Sunderland’s fate has gone down to the wire, before they have just managed to avoid the drop.

But whether he is in charge next season or not, Advocaat is confident Sunderland can finish in a higher position IF they make good moves in the transfer market.

Advocaat said last week that Sunderland need to make up to half-a-dozen “quality” signings and it is understood that owner Ellis Short shares that sentiment, albeit the Black Cats may bring in a couple of players on loan.

“If there’s four or five players to bring more competition in the squad, then they can do much better,” said Advocaat.

“They can do better at the beginning of the season than they did this year, or the year before, or the year before.”

Sunderland will need to boost their defensive options in the summer, with experienced former Manchester United man Wes Brown’s contract expiring and Sebastian Coates only at the club on loan from Liverpool.

But they are also short on options in central midfield, while there has been a need to inject some pace into the attack for several seasons.

Advocaat believes there is also a lopsided element to the squad he inherited from Gus Poyet.

“We have too many options for one position, three or four players,” he added.

“You need a better balanced squad.

“Definitely, the squad needs a makeover.

“You need to get three, four or five good players in to get better competition in your squad.”