Sunderland turn to Dick Advocaat following sacking of Gus Poyet
Last Updated: 17/03/15 5:23pm
Sunderland have appointed Dick Advocaat as head coach until the end of the season.
Advocaat replaces Gus Poyet, who was sacked on Monday with Sunderland a point clear of the relegation places, and the Dutchman has nine games to preserve the club's Premier League status.
The job is 67-year-old Advocaat's first in England, although he did spend three-and-a-half years at Rangers around the turn of the century.
His first task is to prepare a side for this weekend's trip to West Ham, a game which is live on Saturday Night Football.
Advocaat visited some staff at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday morning before meeting the players and supervising his first training session, and it is understood he will not be presented to the media until later in the week.
“Sunderland is a big club and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead," he said. "We must now concentrate on Saturday as a priority and I can’t wait to get started.”
Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said: “Dick has an incredible CV and vast experience of managing at the very highest level. We have one aim only now - to climb the table - and everyone is fully focused on the task ahead of us."
Advocaat has more than 30 years' coaching experience and has won league titles in three different countries, most recently in Russia with Zenit St Petersburg in 2007.
His international teams include the Netherlands, twice, and Belgium, although a short spell with Serbia ended last November after just four games.
Advocaat will be assisted on Wearside by Zeljko Petrovic, his assistant coach with Serbia, former Swansea goalkeeping coach Adrian Turner and Sunderland academy coach Paul Bracewell.
Watch West Ham v Sunderland live on Sky Sports 1 from 4.45pm this Saturday.