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Advocaat: stepping down 'right for the club'

Dick Advocaat Credit: PA

Dick Advocaat says stepping down as head coach of Sunderland is "right for the club".

I want to thank everyone who has stood behind me. This is a very special football club, with so many great people, but I feel it is the right time to do this - not for me, but for the club.

I have made the decision to go after only eight games as I felt it was important to give everyone time turn things around - like we did last year. I am thankful to the chairman for understanding my feelings and I remain on good terms with everyone at the club.

I wish Ellis, Lee (Congerton), all of the staff, players and of course the supporters, who made me feel so welcome here, the very best of luck for the rest of the season. I have some wonderful memories to take with me and I hope I will return to see everybody again in the future.”

– Dick Advocaat


Advocaat 'cannot say' whether he will remain in charge

Dick Advocaat Credit: PA

Speculation into whether manager Dick Advocaat will leave Sunderland continues today, after comments he made following his team's draw with West Ham.

Sunderland had led two nil, but conceded two goals and had a player sent off.

It was a much improved performance for the Black Cats, but when asked whether he would remain manager, Advocaat responded "I cannot say".

Sunderland 2 - 2 West Ham

Steven Fletcher. Credit: PA

Sunderland are drawing 2 - 2 against West Ham.

Steven Fletcher scored, putting Sunderland 1-0 up - the ball was rolled back to him from a corner, and he fired home from the penalty spot.

Jeremain Lens then added an outstanding second, chipping goalkeeper Adrian from 20 yards out.

But on the stroke of half time West Ham hit back, fullback Carl Jenkinson sweeping home from a Victor Moses cross.

Jeremain Lens was then sent off for a second bookable offence, leaving Sunderland down to 10 men.

West Ham equalised after Sunderland goalkeeper Pantilimon parried the ball and Dimitri Payet was there to convert.

Sunderland make three changes

Dick Advocaat Credit: PA

Dick Advocaat has made three changes to the Sunderland team that lost 3-0 against Manchester United.

The West Ham lineup is unchanged.

Sunderland starting XI:

Pantilimon; Jones, Yedlin, Coates, O’Shea; Cattermole, M’Vila, Toivonen, Lens Borini; Fletcher.

West Ham starting XI:

Adrian; Jenkinson, Reid, Tomkins, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate, Moses, Payet, Lanzini; Sakho.


Dick Advocaat may quit as Sunderland boss today

There's speculation this morning that Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat may quit the club after his team's disappointing start to the season.

The Black Cats face West Ham at the Stadium of Light this afternoon. Advocaat is reported to be 'considering his position' and may resign irrespective of today's scoreline.

It's only four months since Sunderland fans sent flowers to Mr Advocaat's wife for apparently supporting his decision to stay at the club.

Fans reacted to the rumours as they arrived at the Stadium of Light this afternoon.

  1. Simon O'Rourke

Blog: Simon O'Rourke looks ahead to Sunderland's home game against West Ham tomorrow

On the surface it's an open and shut case. The team that can't win a premier league match, home or away, against the team that always wins on it's travels. West Ham have already emerged victorious this season from trips to Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. The visit to Wearside will not have them quaking in their boots.

But is it that straightforward ? Slaven Bilic, the West Ham manager doesn't think so. In his press conference this week he said the trip to Sunderland was the Hammers toughest test of the season. "Increased expectations, no room for complacency etc. etc." Now that's all well and good, but you and I know fine well he was lying. He was being counter-intuitive and sending a badly disguised message to his players. He was really saying "As long as we turn up with our game head on, we will win this game."

But what if he's double, double bluffed himself ? If the Hammers begin to struggle on Saturday, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If Sunderland start well maybe the Black cats players and fans start to think "Bilic was right."

Or maybe not. For what it's worth, I DON'T think this is an open and shut case. True, Sunderland need to defend better, or at least not as badly. But I cling to the idea Sunderland aren't actually as bad and as hopeless a case as a lot of people seem to think. This is an opportunity for the Black Cats, no matter what the form book says.

  • Sunderland Head Coach Dick Advocaat looks ahead to Saturday's home game against West Ham

Sunderland footballer appears in court over underage sex allegations

Footballer Adam Johnson (centre), 28, leaves Bradford Crown Court Credit: Dave Higgins/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson, 28, has appeared in court charged with allegations of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

The footballer appeared at Bradford Crown Court on Friday morning, October 2.

The player, who has been capped 12 times by England, spoke only to confirm his name during the pre-trial review hearing.

Adam Johnson, from Castle Eden, County Durham, pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of child grooming at a previous hearing at Durham Crown Court.

Judge Jonathan Rose bailed the Sunderland winger Johnson until his trial, which is due to begin in February.

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