Sunderland squad needs better balance, says Advocaat

Dick Advocaat believes Sunderland need as many as five new players if they are to avoid the Premier League relegation battle next season.

Sunderland must recruit well if they are to steer clear of yet another Premier League relegation scrap next season, says Dick Advocaat.

The Dutchman replaced Gus Poyet in March and guided Sunderland to safety with a return of 12 points from nine matches, which saw them finish 16th.

An offer is on the table to extend Advocaat's stay and, although he refused to be drawn on his own future, he outlined what needs to be done on the playing side.

"Wait and see [about my future]," the 67-year-old said after Sunday's 3-1 defeat to champions Chelsea. "They offered me two or three years, but I have to be honest with myself and everybody else about what I will do. 

"I need to do it as quick as possible so the club can go on as well.

"We need a better balance. We definitely need three, four or five players in to get better competition in the squad."

Advocaat was able to find some positives in their final loss of the campaign, but admitted the gap in quality was evident as Chelsea came from behind to take all three points.

He added: "We lost 3-1, but there was no need to lose 3-1 because we had opportunities to score. 

"In the end Chelsea has the better players and the better skills to make the opportunities more than we do. 

"But for me it was imp to see a team free of relegation and not scared to do something.

"I have been in several leagues [during my career] but this was a great two and a half months. 

"It was difficult, but the players adapted really quickly. Their commitment to the club was great, they did it and I'm really proud of them."