Sunday 21 January 2018

Points all important to Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat

Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat would take victory at Bournemouth however it came
Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat would take victory at Bournemouth however it came

Dick Advocaat admits he does not care how Sunderland play at Bournemouth as long as they win.

The Black Cats head for the Vitality Stadium on Saturday still awaiting their first Barclays Premier league victory of the season, but buoyed by a significantly better performance in last weekend's 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham.

Head coach Advocaat is confident there is a lot more to come from a team which took the game to Spurs for long periods and was unfortunate to emerge defeated after twice hitting the woodwork.

However, the Dutchman, who celebrates his 68th birthday later this month, will be happy with three points from the clash with the Cherries in whatever fashion they are delivered.

He said: "I have always said it doesn't matter how you play, I always go for three points. It doesn't matter how.

"Everybody has to realise that we have had a really, really difficult time because we brought players in late, and you see our line-up, six or seven players were out of contract, so we need more time for them to gel with each other more than normal.

"If we had started with this squad in the beginning, then everything would have been much easier than now."

The likes of Fabio Borini and Ola Toivonen are among those who headed for Wearside as the transfer window drew to a close, and the Sweden international in particular has made an impressive impact during his first few weeks in England.

They will be joined for the first time by on-loan Spurs defender DeAndre Yedlin, who was ineligible to play against his parent club on Sunday, and fit-again midfielder Adam Johnson.

The England international has not played since he dislocated a shoulder during the opening week of the season, and while he has been able to run, Advocaat knows he is short of match fitness.

He said: "If we need him, we could bring him in - that's important, he can change a game. But physical-wise, he is not 100 per cent, not to play for 90 minutes, let's say that."

If Advocaat is one of the most experienced coaches in the Premier League, his opponent this weekend is a relative youngster with 37-year-old Eddie Howe guiding his club through its first-ever season in the top flight.

The Sunderland boss said with a smile: "I have followed him. He has done well, but that's normal when you start. He did really well last season and before - but hopefully not tomorrow.

"(Bournemouth) have done a great job from six years ago, almost nothing, and now they play easily in the Premier League. But we have to look to ourselves and try to get that win because that gives you self-confidence as well.

"That happened last season at the end, so we need to believe in ourselves, in the quality we have in the squad. Not 11 players, but the quality in the squad must be good enough to do that."

Press Association

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