Connor Wickham has admitted that he felt 'relieved' when Dick Advocaat returned to Sunderland as head coach in June.
The Dutchman initially walked away from a permanent deal after joining the Black Cats on a temporary basis in March.
The 67-year-old announced his intention to retire, but he later made a U-turn, much to the delight of Wickham.
"I was surprised when he said he wasn't going to stay on," Wickham told BBC Radio Newcastle. "When he came back it was a sigh of relief for me almost. I was thinking 'not another manager' but it's good for me, good for the lads.
"Hopefully he can get a grip and push us up and keep us afloat this season."
Sunderland began their pre-season campaign with a 4-2 triumph over Darlington on Thursday night.