The Black Cats will be looking to bounce back from their 4-0 hammering by Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light last weekend.
The performance put in by Sunderland was their worst of the season and saw Gus Poyet lose his job as the club’s manager.
Next up for Sunderland is an away game against West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday, and Advocaat has highlighted the importance of the fans.
"They can be number 12 in the team,” said the Dutchman, according to quotes published on Sunderland’s official website. “If they feel the team is passionate they will be the same.
“I have heard our fans are really, really great, passionate and that’s what we need."
Sunderland fans were disappointed with the team’s performance against Villa, and many left long before the game had ended.
With a new manager in charge, one suspects that many fans will travel to London for the match against West Ham at the Boleyn Ground.
For the Sunderland players to get the supporters behind them, they need to step up their game, and show that they are determined to avoid the drop from the Premier League.