Sunderland boss Advocaat content with backroom staff ater retirement of trusted right-hand man van Lingen

Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat (left) and Paul Bracewell (right)
Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat (left) and Paul Bracewell (right)

Dick Advocaat is content with the make-up of his backroom team, despite the retirement of long-term lieutenant Bert van Lingen.

Advocaat will be supported by the vast majority of the coaching staff who worked with him during the final nine games of last season, with assistant Zeljko Petrovic returning along with ex-Sunderland midfielder Paul Bracewell and goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker.

No, we will not bring anyone else in

Dick Advocaat

But the most noticeable absentee is van Lingen, 69, who has decided to retire after working alongside Advocaat throughout their careers together with Holland, Rangers, Belgium and Russia.

There have been suggestions that Advocaat could look to appoint a new number two, who would be moulded into his successor as Sunderland head coach when his one-year contract reaches an end next summer.

But Advocaat has confirmed that he is not looking to add to coaching staff, despite van Lingen’s departure.

He said: “No, we will not bring anyone else in.

“We have Petrovic, we have Paul, an excellent staff.

“Paul with all his experience of 600 games. He knows everyone.

“Zelko is an experienced guy and the goalkeeper coach too.

“They are all really positive.”

The absence of the manager’s long-term assistant proved to be a factor behind former Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill’s struggles at the Stadium of Light after ex-number two John Robertson decided not to join him on Wearside.

But van Lingen, who shared Advocaat’s tears when the Black Cats secured Premier League survival at Arsenal last season, is expected to travel to Sunderland sporadically to offer advice.

Advocaat believes he could have persuaded van Lingen to re-join him in the North East after he underwent a change of heart himself over extending his Sunderland tenure.

Yet he sensed that van Lingen felt it was time to retire from the dug-out, having spoken with his fellow Dutchman.

“Bert is 70 almost and not that age is important, but at a certain moment, you want to spend more time with your family,” added Advocaat.

“I asked him once and he hesitated, and I thought if I started asking, he would say yes.

“But in his heart, he didn’t want it anymore.

“No doubts, he’ll come over from time to time.

“If I called him now, he’d come over tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Advocaat has confirmed that midfielder Jack Rodwell missed Thursday night’s pre-season opener against Darlington due to his wife giving birth.

Rodwell will travel to California with the rest of the Sunderland squad tomorrow, ahead of the friendlies against Sacramento Republic and Club de Futbol Pachuca.