SUNDERLAND, England (AP) — Sunderland has hired former Netherlands manager Dick Advocaat as head coach until the end of the season, tasked with keeping the northeast club in the Premier League.

Sunderland made the appointment on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after firing Gus Poyet with the team a point above the relegation zone with nine matches to go.

The 67-year-old Advocaat says "Sunderland is a big club and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead. We must now concentrate on Saturday as a priority and I can't wait to get started."

Advocaat has been out of work since leaving the Serbia national team job last year.

Sunderland chairman Ellis Short says Advocaat "has an incredible CV and vast experience of managing at the very highest level."

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