Football: Advocaat stays with Sunderland after U-turn

LONDON (AFP) - Dick Advocaat has reversed his decision to leave Sunderland and signed a one-year contract as head coach, the English Premier League club announced on Thursday.

The experienced Dutchman, 67, stepped down last week after leading Sunderland to safety in the English top flight, having succeeded the sacked Gus Poyet in March.

He said at the time that he no longer wished to work as a club manager, but following talks with Sunderland chairman Ellis Short and sporting director Lee Congerton, he has now performed a U-turn.

"After a lot of discussions with Ellis and Lee, they convinced me that I am the right man for the club," said Advocaat, who wept after the 0-0 draw at Arsenal that confirmed Sunderland's escape from relegation.

"It was a great feeling to be part of Sunderland in the last few months, the experience was something very special and after talking with Lee, Ellis and of course my family, we all agree it is the right decision."

Advocaat brought a wealth of experience to the Stadium of Light, having won league titles in three different countries and coached six national teams, including the Netherlands, Russia and South Korea.

Sunderland were just a point above the relegation zone when he arrived on March 17, but after taking 12 points from a possible 24, they secured their top-flight status with a game to spare.

"Dick's credentials in football are top-class and we saw what an impact his vast knowledge and experience had on our team and the club as a whole in just two months," Short said in a statement on the club website.

"Sunderland fans took him to their hearts and so did everyone at the club, so we are absolutely thrilled that he will be here longer term."