Sunderland AFC manager Dick Advocaat has decided to step down from the role, the team announced in a statement Sunday.
In the statement, Advocaat said that he made the decision because he feels the team’s best chance to turn around the season is without him.
“I want to thank everyone who has stood behind me," Advocaat said. "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.”
Through eight games, Sunderland sits 19th in the Barclays Premier League standings. The team has yet to win a game, posting an 0–3–5 record.
Sunderland chairman Ellis Short also made a statement, and seemed to be surprised by the decision.
“I am truly saddened by Dick’s decision, but I respect him for his honesty and for doing what he feels is right for the club,” he said.
Advocaat was named Sunderland’s head coach after the club fired Gus Poyet on March 17. He announced that he was retiring after the finish of the 2014–2015 season, but reversed on that decision in June.
Advocaat has coached at both the club and international level during his career, including stints leading the Netherlands, South Korea and Russia.