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Sunderland progressing under Dick Advocaat says Steven Fletcher

Steven Fletcher is feeling optimistic for the rest of Sunderland's season because of the impact head coach Dick Advocaat has made since his arrival.

Advocaat's first game in charge ended with a 1-0 defeat by West Ham but Scotland striker Fletcher says he can already see the difference he is making.

Sunderland's next Premier League fixture will be one of their biggest of the season, as they host fierce rivals Newcastle in the Wear-Tyne derby on April 5 looking to climb away from their position one point outside the relegation zone.

“It’s been really lively since the new coach has come in; he’s a lively character and he’s brought that into the training sessions," Fletcher told safc.com.

"He wants us all to give 100 per cent and believes we’ve got the quality to turn our fortunes around and push up the league."

Advocaat replaced Gus Poyet earlier this month with nine games remaining to save the team's top-division status, and Fletcher feels his start to life on Wearside has been a positive one despite the narrow Upton Park reverse.

“He wants us to play a lot more compact and push forward as a unit, and I think we did that in the last game because we won balls back and created chances," Fletcher added.

“There were plenty of positives to take from the game at West Ham; we’ve got to remain upbeat and stick to the task at hand.

“There’s no better game to turn things around in than the derby and it’s a great first home game for the new coach, so we’re all looking forward to it."

Watch Sunderland take on Newcastle in Dick Advocaat's home debut on Sunday April 5 - coverage starts on Sky Sports 1 at 3:30pm.


Headlines for Sunderland this week

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  • Sunderland progressing under Dick Advocaat says Steven Fletcher


  • Steven Fletcher is feeling optimistic for the rest of Sunderland's season because of the impact head coach Dick Advocaat has made since his arrival.

  • Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat concedes results are all that matter


  • Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat concedes results are more important than stylish football for the remainder of the season.

  • West Ham 1-0 Sunderland: Diafra Sakho’s late strike ruins Dick Advocaat’s debut


  • West Ham beat Sunderland 1-0 at Upton Park as Diafra Sakho’s last-gasp effort ruined Dick Advocaat’s first match in charge of the Wearsiders.

  • Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat upset with West Ham goal but takes positives


  • New Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat believes his side should have had a free kick in the build-up to West Ham’s winning goal.

  • Adam Johnson plays final 17 minutes for new Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat


  • Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has played for the first time since being arrested for alleged sexual activity with an underage girl.

  • West Ham v Sunderland preview


  • West Ham are likely to once again be limited on defensive options for Saturday's (5.30pm kick-off) visit of Premier League strugglers Sunderland.

  • Gus Poyet proud of Sunderland spell despite being sacked


  • Gus Poyet has defended his record at Premier League strugglers Sunderland four days after being dismissed as head coach.

  • Dick Advocaat demands changes at Sunderland to avoid drop


  • Dick Advocaat used his first press conference as the Sunderland head coach to issue a rallying cry to his players in their quest to stay in the Premier League.

  • Aaron Cresswell ready for West Ham test from Advocaat's Sunderland


  • West Ham are ready to rise to the challenge of facing a Sunderland side managed for the first time by Dick Advocaat, according to defender Aaron Cresswell.

  • Allardyce keen to stay at West Ham


  • West Ham manager Sam Allardyce says he would like to stay in charge at Upton Park despite being linked with the Sunderland and QPR jobs.

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