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Updated: Jul 12

On this day in 2015, Dick Advocaat was named caretaker manager until the end of the season. His task was to keep the Lads in the Premier League...

We were the 20th club of Advocaat's managerial career. Prior to joining us he had been in charge of some massive teams both nationally and internationally. Some of the clubs he had worked with were Netherlands, PSV, Rangers, Netherlands (again), Belgium, PSV (again) and then Serbia before us.

The longest time he had ever spent with one side was four years, but almost all of his endeavours lasted two years maximum. Anyway, he came in to replace Gus Poyet who was sacked after an abysmal 4-0 loss at home to relegation rivals Aston Villa. He was given a temporary contract to see out the season and hopefully keep us in the top flight as we were 17th in the league and only one point above the relegation zone.

His first game in charge of the Lads saw us lose 1-0 to West Ham but in his second game he managed to beat the Mags 1-0 at the Stadium of Light. That game saw an absolute blinder from Jermain Defoe, you know the one. Up from Pantilimon, headed down by Fletcher and the rest they say is history. Defoe, volley, bang. Right on the stroke of half time. Pure bliss.

The Dutchman helped us grab a few vital wins that helped gain safety that year, despite losses to teams like Crystal Palace we managed to gain points through back to back victories over Southampton and Everton. Then with one game remaining we secured safety by drawing 0-0 to Arsenal at the Emirates, which reduced him to tears.

Initially Advocaat retired after the season had ended but we managed to bring him back before the start of the next campaign. Sunderland fans famously sent flowers to his wife in a last-minute attempt to get him to change his mind.

Two key signings were made in that summer - Jeremain Lens and the return of Fabio Borini, this time permanently. As for loans we captured Yann M’Vila, DeAndre Yedlin and Ola Toivonen. We started the season poorly. Losses to Leicester and newly promoted Norwich prompted a dour mood around the club. His final game in charge of the Lads was a two-all draw to West Ham, which he resigned shortly after, making his only win of the 15/16 season a 6-3 win against Exeter in the League Cup. When he left we were in 19th until Big Sam came in and saved us.

A year after leaving his departure he went back into management, and continued his regular pattern of filtering through as many clubs as he can. He went to Fenerbahçe then back to Netherlands for a third time, three more Dutch clubs, the Iraqi National Team and now back in the Netherlands, with ADO Den Haag. So much for retiring in 2015...

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