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17 March 2015, 08:11
Sunderland AFC has appointed Dick Advocaat as head coach until the end of the current season.
The Dutchman brings a wealth of experience to the Stadium of Light, with over 30 years in management at both club and international level.
Speaking about the appointment, Sunderland AFC 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."
Speaking about his appointment, Mr. Advocaat said:
"Sunderland is a big club and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead. We must now concentrate on Saturday as a priority and I can't wait to get started."
Advocaat began his managerial career in his native Holland, going on to manage the Netherlands at international level on two occasions, after success at club level with a number of top sides in the Dutch league.
Following success in Holland, Advocaat moved to Scotland, guiding Rangers to five trophies during his four years at Ibrox, before returning to the Holland national team set-up in 2002. Spells with United Arab Emirates and South Korea were followed by three years in Russia with Zenit St. Petersburg, where he won the Russian League and Cup as well as the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup in 2008.
Advocaat then went on to manage the Belgium and Russia national teams as well as Dutch clubs AZ Alkmaar and PSV before taking charge of the Serbia national side.
He will be joined at the Stadium of Light by Zeljko Petrovic as first team coach and former Swansea and England under-20 goalkeeping coach, Adrian Tucker. Sunderland AFC academy coach Paul Bracewell will also support the head coach and his backroom team for the final nine games of the season.
UPDATED Monday 16th March 2015
Sunderland have sacked manager Gus Poyet after almost 18 months in charge.
Chairman Ellis Short released a short statement via the club's official website, confirming the decision.
In it he made reference to Poyet's successful fight against the drop last term, as well as an unexpected run to the Capital One Cup final, but expressed disappointment at slipping once again into a survival scrap.
"I would like to thank Gus for his endeavours during his time at the club, in particular last season's 'great escape' and cup final appearance, which will live long in the memory of every Sunderland fan.
Sadly, we have not made the progress that any of us had hoped for this season and we find ourselves battling, once again, at the wrong end of the table. We have therefore made the difficult decision that a change is needed.''
The statement added that an announcement about Poyet's successor would be made ``in due course''.
With time running short, and a trip to West Ham on Saturday, the club are expected to act quickly.
Former Rangers manager Dick Advocaat is among the favourites to succeed Poyet.
The 67 year old is available after leaving his post as Serbia manager last year.