herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

New Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat is convinced there is enough within his dressing room to keep the club in the Premier League.

New Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat is convinced there is enough within his dressing room to keep the club in the Premier League.

The 67-year-old, who replaced Gus Poyet for the final nine games of the season on Tuesday, has spent the last three days working with his players ahead of Saturday's trip to West Ham as he prepares for a tooth and nail fight for top-flight status.

However, he is confident they can avoid the drop with survival still very much in their own hands with a point currently separating them from the bottom three.

Advocaat said: "We have nine games to go and are still a point ahead, so we have everything in our own hands.

"There is enough quality in this squad to stay up. We have a difficult programme, as do the other teams, but it's all up to us and I have a good feeling about it."

The hugely experienced Advocaat held a team meeting yesterday and while his message was positive, he pulled no punches as he addressed the consequences of failure and life in the Sky Bet Championship.

He said: "With this club, this stadium, you cannot play in the lower league. I think they realise how important it is."

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