Advocaat was appointed Black Cats head coach last week, and Fletcher has told the Sunderland Echo how he has changed the team.
Despite losing his first game in charge due to a late goal from West Ham’s Diafra Sakho, Advocaat has seemingly created a more formidable team in his debut week in control. The 4-3-3 system favoured was very similar to the one Gus Poyet used during his tenure at the Stadium of Light, but there was a much higher level of defensive solidity on show.
An attacking threat was still fairly non-existent, with just seven shots registered, but Advocaat cannot be expected to have changed everything within one week. This was still a step up from the latter days of Poyet’s reign, when attacking threat was nowhere to be seen, and striker Steven Fletcher, who started in the front line for Advocaat’s debut, has been speaking on the effect of the Dutch veteran.
Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, Fletcher, who put in a good performance for the Black Cats after months of average games, has admitted that Advocaat has brought a renewed sense of energy to the Stadium of Light and has the players chasing everything down for the good of the collective cause.
“The manager has provided a lift around the place,” the Black Cats forward said. “He’s a very animated manager, but that’s good for us. We needed a boost.
“He gets the players running, chasing it down, which is good for us. We’re winning the ball back again and creating chances, which we needed to do. It’s very structural. We know where we stand.”