Having fulfilled his objective of keeping them in the Premier League, Dick Advocaat admits he could now extend his stay at Sunderland.
The experienced Dutch coach was brought in to succeed Gus Poyet at the Stadium of Light following the woeful 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, which left the Black Cats just a point above the relegation zone with nine matches remaining. Despite losing his first game at the helm, Advocaat has oversaw wins against Everton, Southampton and, most notable of all, Newcastle United.
Indeed, since their 4-1 home reverse to Crystal Palace on 11 April, Sunderland have won two and drawn three of their subsequent five outings. The last of these results came on Wednesday night when they held Arsenal to a blank at the Emirates Stadium, a performance which ensures they will still be visiting such stadia when the 2015/16 campaign begins on Saturday 8 August.
Whether Advocaat will still be on Wearside by this time remains to be seen. When the 67-year-old arrived at the club he signed a contract for the remainder of the season, and had given no hint that he would be willing to extend this stay. However, he has now revealed that Ellis Short has asked him to remain in charge for the coming campaign, something he is now considering.
“Mr Short made a commitment when he said he wants the club to be in the top 12 on a regular basis, so that means the club has to invest,” said Advocaat. “They want me to stay, definitely. They discussed it already a couple of weeks ago but I have to be honest to everybody, to my family and the club. I will take a holiday and in that week I will take a decision and let them know what I will do.
“But it is so important that the club can’t go on doing what they have done for the last four years – every year playing for relegation – because they have to realise this is a big club with a big stadium and big academy. The facilities are brilliant. But they have to invest in better players to make the squad stronger, so what we need is more competition between the players.”
Would Dick Advocaat be a good appointment for Sunderland next season, or should they simply thank him and look for an alternative option to lead them?