Tuesday March 17th, 2015

Sunderland has hired Dick Advocaat to coach the club for the rest of the season, the team announced on Tuesday.

On Monday, manager Gus Poyet was fired after Sunderland won just one of its last 12 matches. Since taking over the team in October 2013, Poyet had a 23-22-30 record.

Advocaat, 67, will be the oldest coach in the Premier League, and it will be his first job in English soccer.

“Sunderland is a big club, and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead,” Advocaat said. “We must now concentrate on Saturday (at West Ham) as a priority, and I can't wait to get started.”

• LYTTLETON: Arsenal, Atletico face uphill battles in UCL

Sunderland is one point above the relegation line with nine games remaining. In his career as a manager, Advocaat has never managed a side that has fallen below the drop zone.

"Dick has an incredible CV and vast experience of managing at the very highest level," Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said. "We have one aim only now, to climb the table, and everyone is fully focused on the task ahead."

Sunderland returns to the pitch on Saturday as they travel to Upton Park for a clash with West Ham United. 

• West Brom GK Ben Foster out four weeks with knee injury

- Josh Sanchez

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