Sunderland: Dick Advocaat appointed Black Cats boss
Sunderland have appointed Dick Advocaat as their new manager until the end of the season.
The former Netherlands coach takes over a day after the sacking of Gus Poyet with the Black Cats one point above the Premier League relegation zone.
"We have one aim only now - to climb the table - and everyone is fully focused on the task ahead of us," said Sunderland chairman Ellis Short.
Advocaat, 67, said: "I can't wait to get started."
Poyet was sacked after a run of just one victory in 12 league games, which left Sunderland 17th in the Premier League and one point above the relegation zone.
They were thrashed 4-0 at home by relegation rivals Aston Villa in Poyet's last match and Advocaat's reign will get under way with a game at West Ham on Saturday.
"Sunderland is a big club and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead," said the Dutchman, who becomes the oldest manager currently in the top flight.
"We must now concentrate on Saturday as a priority."
Zeljko Petrovic will be Advocaat's first-team coach, while former Swansea and England Under-20 goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker will be part of his backroom staff.
Sunderland academy coach Paul Bracewell will also support the head coach and his backroom team for the final nine games of the season.
From Rangers to Russia
Dick Advocaat has never managed in the Premier League but was in charge of Scottish club Rangers between 1998 and 2002.
He won the league title and cup double twice at Ibrox, while he also has league titles with PSV Eindhoven in his homeland as well as Zenit St Petersburg in Russia.
The Dutchman also led Zenit to victory over Rangers in the 2008 Uefa Cup final - now known as the Europa League - while his side also beat Manchester United in the Uefa Super Cup later that year.
Internationally, he has coached the Netherlands twice and also managed United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Belgium, Russia and Serbia.
He quit as Serbia coach in November, a day after a 3-1 Euro 2016 qualifying defeat against Denmark left them joint bottom of Group I.
Advocaat was just four months into a two-year contract after replacing Sinisa Mihajlovic and had been in charge for three games.
What's Advocaat like?
Defender Arthur Numan played under Advocaat for Netherlands, Rangers and PSV Eindhoven.
"He always said that it was his dream to become a coach in England," Numan told BBC Radio 5 live. "I think he is the kind of coach Sunderland needs. He's a coach with a lot of experience.
"It's a challenge to keep them in the Premier League. Maybe, if that is possible, he will stay maybe for another year, or another two years.
"The moment he arrives in England, the players will notice he's around. He eats, drinks and sleeps football 24/7, so he is devoted.
"I think the press are going to love him as well because he is outspoken, he has an opinion about football."
A 'no-lose situation'?
"It's a strange appointment. He's extremely strict in what he does but I really don't think he has got the time to instil anything like that on the players to change the results," former Rangers defender Colin Hendry told BBC Radio 5 live.
"He can walk away as a success by keeping them up or he might get a longer contract. Or they might be relegated and it wasn't his fault anyway. It's a no-lose situation for Dick Advocaat."
"Would suggest Advocaat's record is 'credible' rather than incredible. He's never been required to perform a late season fire-fighting role, though." Oliver Kay, chief football correspondent for The Times
"A coach with no experience of English football faces a daunting run-in, including away games at West Ham United, Arsenal, Stoke City, Everton and Chelsea." Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph football correspondent