Sunderland boss Advocaat: Forget our derby record – Sunday is all that matters

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat
Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat

DICK ADVOCAAT says Sunderland’s winning streak against Newcastle United has to be treated as ancient history this weekend.

Sunderland are aiming for five-in-a-row against the Magpies at the Stadium of Light on Sunday - a run of victories which would match the derby record set by Newcastle nine years ago.

But Advocaat - who like his two predecessors Paolo Di Canio and Gus Poyet faces a derby in his second game at the helm - is only concerned by the present, as he aims to register his first points as Sunderland head coach.

Advocaat said today: “I know for the media it’s important, but I think that was in the past.

“I don’t care for what happened in the past.

“We have to do it now. That’s the most important thing.

“It’s a home game and that has to be an advantage for us.

“If we show our fans that we are really desperate for a result, I’m sure they will stay behind us.”

Advocaat has eight games to secure Sunderland’s Premier League status, with just a point separating the Black Cats from third bottom Burnley - who could leapfrog their fellow strugglers earlier on Sunday afternoon.

And he says that if there is a derby-esque attitude from his players in each of those eight games, then Sunderland should be fine in the relegation dogfight.

“If we go into every game thinking it will be a derby, then we will do well,” he added.

“Commitment-wise, it will be positive and that is always the start.

“I said that at West Ham as well, that we need to do something as a team and unit and try to get a result.

“The commitment was there at West Ham, although football-wise, we still need to improve a lot.

“But hopefully if the commitment stays and the way we plays get better and the players get used to the way we train, we have a good feeling about it.”