Sunderland fans will want me to stay, claims Advocaat

Dick Advocaat is not surprised that he is already being linked with an extended stay at Sunderland, a situation he considers to be normal.

The 67-year-old was appointed as the Black Cats coach last month on a deal which will expire at the end of the season, with his objective being to haul the team away from the relegation zone. Under Gus Poyet the Wearsiders had lost 11 of their 29 fixtures in the Premier League, and just as they had last term, such a sequence had seen them slip towards the bottom of the table.

Advocaat’s first game in charge ended in a 1-0 defeat at West Ham United when Diafra Sakho scored a late winner, but the Dutch coach received the plaudits of the supporters when a Jermain Defoe volley brought victory against rivals Newcastle United last weekend. Following this win there were calls for the coach to be given an extended contract, which came as no surprise to him.

“I’m not being arrogant but this is a normal situation for me,” he said. “At the clubs I have worked at and with the prizes I have won it is normal for the fans to think that way about me. We will wait and see with my situation but it’s good to be back in club management. I’m enjoying every minute of this. I enjoyed last Sunday, the fans were unbelievable. Hopefully it will be the same against Crystal Palace.”

With seven matches remaining, the fact remains that Sunderland are still in danger of losing their top-flight status. They are currently just three points ahead of the relegation zone, and will see the visit of Palace as a perfect opportunity to register a second successive victory for the first time this season. And Advocaat will be aware that as soon as they climb away from trouble the better, particularly as their final two fixtures are away to title-challengers Arsenal and Chelsea.

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