The Black Cats have endured a disastrous start to the Premier League campaign, following up a 4-2 opening day defeat to Leicester with a 3-1 collapse at home against Norwich on Saturday.
Drastic changes are clearly in order and Advocaat has identified one role Jermain Defoe will no longer feature in.
“Defoe can play on the right side, the left side, as a second striker, but, in my opinion, not as a lone striker,” he said to the Sunderland Echo.
“I tried that and it didn’t work out…That wasn’t his fault, it was more my fault because I put him there.”
Defoe has struggled in a lone striker role throughout his career and it makes the Dutchman’s choice to play him there a strange one indeed.
It's doubtful whether altering formation, to suit the former Spurs striker, or changing his position will remedy the Black Cats’ issues though, given the extent of their problems.
Advocaat’s task before the close of the transfer window is a monumental one as he looks to breathe fresh hope into the newly-emerging favourites for the drop.