Sunderland boss says strong philosophy needed

Dick Advocaat yesterday
Dick Advocaat yesterday
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Dick Advocaat says any potential successor as Sunderland head coach needs to have a clear philosophy, if he is to end the club’s troubles.

Advocaat brought the curtain down on his short-term stint in charge of Sunderland in yesterday’s 3-1 defeat at Chelsea, as the Black Cats finished the campaign in 16th spot.

If, IF, I’m not coming, someone needs to come in who knows they’re building a team.

The 67-year-old has now returned to his native Holland for discussions with his family over whether to continue his decorated managerial career, or go ahead with his original plan to retire this summer.

Sunderland have made Advocaat an offer to extend his stint in charge, with owner Ellis Short and sporting director Lee Congerton united in wanting to keep the ex-Holland manager; believing the club needs an experienced head after three successive near brushes with the drop.

But it is understood that there are fears among Sunderland’s hierarchy that while Advocaat is tempted to remain in charge, his wife will over-rule any chance to prolong his career.

Sunderland expect to discover Advocaat’s decision in the next 72 hours.

Yet if Advocaat does choose to leave the club, he says the man who replaces him needs to have a clear vision of how to build a team capable of ending Sunderland’s cycle of struggling for Premier League survival.

“If, IF, I’m not coming, someone needs to come in who knows they’re building a team,” said Advocaat.

“They must have a clear idea of what they’re doing, a philosophy.

“He must work like I have on a lot of movement and that kind of thing.”

Sunderland have already held several rounds of discussions with Advocaat, and there were further talks after the conclusion of proceedings at Stamford Bridge yesterday.

“They have already offered me two or three years, but I have to be honest with myself and everybody what I will do for the future,” said Advocaat.

But if this does prove to be Advocaat’s one and only taste of the Premier League, the ex-Holland manager will reflect fondly on his two month stint on Wearside.

Sunderland took 12 points from his nine games in charge to fulfil his remit of keeping the club in the top flight.

“I have been in several leagues and I have managed national teams as well – Holland etc – and four years with Rangers,” he added.

“But this was great.

“It was difficult as well because it is better if you start at the beginning (of the season) because then they know what they have to do.

“When we came in, we had to tell them there’s only one way, and that’s my way.

“The players adapted really, really quick and their commitment to the club was really great.

“They did it and I’m really proud of them.”