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Dick Advocaat leaves Sunderland after draw with West Ham

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Dick Advocaat has left Sunderland after weeks of speculation. 68-year-old Dutchman, who was parachuted in to mastermind a nine-game rescue mission at the end of the last campaign, has walked away with the club sitting in 19th place in the Barclays Premier League on three points after winning none of their opening eight fixtures following Saturday's 2-2 draw with West Ham at the Stadium of Light.

Advocaat's departure was confirmed in a club statement which said: "Sunderland AFC has announced that Dick Advocaat has left his position as head coach at the club. The Dutchman informed the chairman of his decision to step down from his role and departs the Stadium of Light with immediate effect."

Dick Advocaat said afterwards; "I want to thank everyone who has stood behind me. This is a very special football club with so many great people, but I feel it is the right time to do this - not for me, but for the club."

It's understood the former Holland boss, who refused to discuss his future after the game, had decided to go whatever the result.

It leaves the Black Cats in a state of flux once again with sporting director Lee Congerton understood to be working a period of notice after tendering his resignation.

Nigel Pearson who did well at Leicester last season and former West Ham boss Sam Allardyce lead the list of contenders to take over the helm.

JB

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