The Sunderland stat that gives Advocaat hope in Wear-Tyne derby

Dick Advocaat may have lost his debut game in charge, but Sunderland’s recent record in Wear-Tyne derbies should give him hope.

The Dutch coach could only lead the Black Cats to a 1-0 defeat at West Ham, courtesy of a late Diafra Sakho goal.

The loss was a demoralising result, with the Hammers struggling in their own right recently, and three points at the Boleyn Ground could have been vital for Sunderland.

However, while that outcome represents a setback, the performance certainly showed some major improvements from those that were put in during Gus Poyet’s final months in charge. Advocaat had his team defending well and creating a few chances, and they were unfortunate to not come away with at least a point.

With the international break now upon us, Adovcaat has two full weeks to work his squad prior to the return of the Premier League. Admittedly, some of his players will be on international duty, but he has a long time to prepare for what is Sunderland’s biggest fixture in the footballing calendar - the Wear-Tyne derby.

With Newcastle safe in the top flight, but on a poor run of form, the Black Cats may be able to take advantage of their complacent style and claim Advocaat’s first win at the Stadium of Light. Not only does current form give hope to the Dutch coach for success, but recent history hints at a Sunderland win - with Advocaat set to follow in the footsteps of other recent Wearside bosses.

The last two coaches hired at the Stadium of Light - Paolo Di Canio and Gus Poyet - had to face Newcastle in their second game in charge, which happens to be the same game in which Advocaat will face them. And, despite both losing their first games in charge, like Advocaat, they tasted victory on derby day, by 3-0 and 2-1 scorelines respectively.

Both those appointments ended in disaster, but they kept the club in the Premier League, and securing that first victory over Newcastle proved to be a vital turning point in Sunderland’s season. If Advocaat follows this path of defeat then victory against Newcastle, one would think that he will keep the Black Cats in the top flight, making sure it is a successful season.

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