Still work to do for Sunderland, insists Advocaat

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat has warned his side that there is plenty of work still to do to ensure that the threat of relegation is avoided, the Newcastle Chronicle is reporting.

A superb Jermain Defoe goal brought a priceless victory over bitter rivals Newcastle United on Sunday, a result that sent the Stadium of Light into raptures and lifted the Black Cats to 29 points, three clear of the relegation zone.

With Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers meeting on Tuesday evening, that gap could be narrowed, so Advocaat is keen for his side and the club’s supporters not to get carried away by their Tyne-Wear derby victory. He said: “We needed that (the win over Newcastle) because you saw the other results on Saturday. It gives us the confidence but don’t think we are already there, we have just started.”

Since taking over Advocaat has changed the club’s style of play to a more attack-minded approach, fielding a front three of Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham playing either side of Defoe, a move which has seen strong link-up play and interchange.

Fletcher has not scored in the Premier League since November, but Advocaat has backed him to end that drought. “Fletcher played excellently, had some possibilities but could not score,’ added the Dutchman. ‘Hopefully, he can do that next week. The way they worked the three up front made it so easy for the midfield and the rest.”

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