Sunderland's Lee Cattermole has been short of his best form so far this season.
The Black Cats were beaten 4-1 by Manuel Pellegrini's side in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, but Advocaat still felt that Cattermole was much improved.
The combative midfielder has been short of his best so far this season, but Advocaat saw enough to suggest that he is starting to get back into the groove.
“Lee did really well; we saw glimpses of the Cattermole I saw towards the end of last season," the Dutch manager said.
“He played simple, he was very sharp and he took other players with him, that’s what I like to see from him."
Despite Advocaat's praise, Cattermole was unable to stop City running riot at the Stadium of Light and adding to the Black Cats' misery.
Sunderland have only beaten Exeter City so far this campaign, and the ease with which City dispatched of them was a concern.
The Citizens scored first-half goals through Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, and they also profited from a Vito Mannone own goal before Ola Toivonen netted a late consolation for the hosts.
It leaves further questions being asked of Sunderland's defence, and with a game against Manchester United next on their schedule, they will have to tighten up quickly if they are to avoid further embarrassment.