Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat was in fine spirits after securing his first win as Black Cats’ manager with a Jermain Defoe-inspired 1-0 victory over local rivals Newcastle at the Stadium of Light.
The hosts controlled the entire contest and made sure of a fifth successive Wear-Tyne derby win against an abject Newcastle side to allay their growing relegation fears and end a run of eight games without a victory.
The Dutchman witnessed Defoe, a January summer signing from MLS side Toronto FC, produce a stunning volley on the stroke of half time, but the Black Cats' boss was sarcastic in his assessment of the strike.
“It was an easy goal, an easy shot. He gets paid for that,” said the Sunderland manager wryly.
“It was not only a fantastic goal – it was an important one, but the way the team played must give them a boost. Not only did they work their socks off to get a good result, but also football-wise it was much better than last week.”
The former Rangers manager was positive about Sunderland’s Premier League survival chances, having leapfrogged Aston Villa and Hull with the win and moved three points clear of the relegation zone.
Advocaat said: “Hopefully on May 24, we are still there because that's the most important thing. This helps.
“I always have said we will survive, but this is just the first game. But we had to win today because there was a lot of pressure on the team."