19 Mar 2015

Advocaat takes over at Sunderland

12:23 pm on 19 March 2015

The English football club Sunderland has appointed Dick Advocaat as their new manager until the end of the season.

Sunderland players celebrate scoring a goal.

Sunderland players celebrate scoring a goal. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The former Netherlands coach takes over a day after the sacking of Gus Poyet with the Black Cats one point above the Premier League relegation zone.

They were thrashed 4-nil at home by relegation rivals Aston Villa in Poyet's last game and Advocaat's reign will get underway with a game at West Ham on Saturday.

Poyet was sacked after a run of just one victory in 12 league games, which left Sunderland 17th in the Premier League and one point above the relegation zone.

The 67-year-old Dutchman says Sunderland is a big club and he's very much looking forward to the challenge ahead.

He becomes the oldest manager currently in the top flight.

Zeljko Petrovic will be Advocaat's first-team coach, while former Swansea and England Under-20 goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker will also be part of his backroom staff.

Sunderland academy coach Paul Bracewell said he "will also support the head coach and his backroom team for the final nine games of the season".

Advocaat has never managed in the Premier League but was in charge of Scottish club Rangers between 1998 and 2002.

He won the league and cup double twice at Ibrox, while he also has league titles with PSV Eindhoven in his homeland as well as Zenit St Petersburg in Russia.

The Dutchman also led Zenit to victory over Rangers in the 2008 Uefa Cup final - now known as the Europa League - while his side also beat Manchester United in the Uefa Super Cup later that year.

On the international front, apart from coaching Netherlands twice, he has also managed United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Belgium, Russia and Serbia.

He stepped down as Serbia coach in November a day after a 3-1 Euro 2016 qualifying defeat against Denmark which left the country joint bottom of Group I.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.