Sunderland have appointed Dick Advocaat as head coach until the end of the season, the Barclays Premier League club have announced.
The 67-year-old Dutchman replaces Gus Poyet, who was dismissed on Monday after 17 months in charge.
A Sunderland statement read: “Sunderland AFC has appointed Dick Advocaat as head coach until the end of the current season.
“The Dutchman brings a wealth of experience to the Stadium of Light, with over 30 years in management at both club and international level.”
The club moved quickly to appoint Advocaat after parting company with Poyet, whose final match in charge was Saturday's 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa - a result which left Sunderland one point and one place above the relegation zone.
Advocaat has been in management for over three decades, including two stints in charge of Holland and was most recently coach of Serbia, who he left last year.
He has never managed in England before but did spend four years at Rangers between 1998 and 2002, winning the league and cup double twice.
Aside from Scotland, Advocaat has also won league titles in his homeland with PSV Eindhoven, and in Russia with Zenit St Petersburg.
Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said: “Dick has an incredible CV and vast experience of managing at the very highest level. We have one aim only now – to climb the table and everyone is fully focused on the task ahead of us.”
The Black Cats are next in Premier League action against West Ham on Saturday and the new coach is looking forward to getting started.
He said: “Sunderland is a big club and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead. We must now concentrate on Saturday as a priority and I can’t wait to get started.”
Advocaat stepped down as Serbia coach in November, the day after a 3-1 Euro 2016 qualifying defeat against Denmark which left them joint-bottom in Group I.
He had been just four months into a two-year contract after replacing Sinisa Mihajlovic and had been in charge for three games.
Sunderland have announced that Advocaat will be joined at the Stadium of Light by Zeljko Petrovic – his assistant coach with Serbia – as first-team coach and former Swansea and England Under-20 goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker.
Paul Bracewell, Sunderland’s academy coach, will also support Advocaat and his backroom team for the final nine games of the season.