Niall Quinn believes Sunderland can save themselves time this summer by offering their managerial job to Dick Advocaat on a permanent basis.
The experienced Dutch coach was drafted in to the Stadium of Light last month to succeed the sacked Gus Poyet, and he was given the task of keeping them in the Premier League. A 1-0 defeat at West Ham United in his opening match highlighted the difficulty of his job, but his side bounced back with a 1-0 win over north east rivals Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.
This means the Black Cats have climbed to 15th in the table with seven matches remaining, although they are only three points above the relegation zone. Former chairman Quinn, who also played over 200 times for the club during a six-year reign, has now urged owner Ellis Short to consider extending Advocaat’s stay on Wearside beyond the end of the current season.
“The next man in is the most important now,” Quinn told Sky Sports. “Sunderland have been hanging on as a football club over the last few years and whoever it is has to be given a project to create something other than this yo-yo club. I hope it is Dick Advocaat because he doesn’t have to talk his way through everything, with the experience he has. He’s been there and done it.
“He doesn’t have to make himself known to the world like the last two managers did. Advocaat just goes in there and does it and he seems to have got that level of desire and passion in there already. If he adds his tactical nous and keeps this team in the Premier League then I would be breaking the bank to make sure he stays. He could be the man to make a three-to-five-year plan out of it.”
Advocaat is regarded as one of the most experienced coaches in European football, having initially began this path as a 32-year-old back in 1981. The 67-year-old has since gone on to win top-flight titles with PSV Eindhoven in his homeland, Zenit St Petersburg in Russia, and twice during a four-year stint with Scottish giants Rangers. He has also coached at international level with Holland (twice), United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Belgium, and most recently Serbia last year.
The win over Newcastle, meanwhile, was delivered courtesy of a fine left-footed volley from Jermain Defoe, a goal which is sure to be up there as one of the best of the season. Magpies goalkeeper Tim Krul waited in the tunnel at half-time to congratulate the striker for his goal, and has now felt the need to defend himself after his actions were met with anger from his club’s fans.
“Listen, I’m a Geordie, I’ve been at this club for 10 years and I’m as hurt as anybody else so whoever wants to put negatives like that on me, it’s not justified,” he told Sky Sports. “To see those travelling fans have to travel back to Newcastle without the win again it hurts me as much as them. What I actually told him I probably can’t repeat on television because it wasn’t a nice gesture. it was more in the region of ‘what a lucky guy he is’, but with a bit more venom behind it.”