The Black Cats fought back after going behind to clinch a point with Swansea at the Stadium of Light to remind the Dutchman of the resilience they showed during his nine-game rescue mission at the end of the last campaign.
Advocaat said: “It’s a much better feeling this time, 1-1 against a very good side. Swansea are a good team with good players, but the way we played with the spirit we showed last year, you can see that you will get results.
“With a little bit of luck, if the referee had given us the penalty that was a penalty, we could even have won. But I can live with 1-1, to be fair to Swansea as well. ”
Swansea took the lead somewhat against the run of play in first-half injury-time when Kyle Naughton picked out Bafetimbi Gomis’ run into the box and he finished effortlessly with a first-time strike.
However, Jermain Defoe was similarly lethal when presented with the chance to level from Jeremain Len’s 62nd-minute pass, although it took a series of fine saves by Costel Pantilimon to secure a point.
Sunderland thought they should have been awarded a 66th-minute penalty after Jack Rodwell’s shot appeared to come off defender Ashley Williams’ arm, but referee Neil Swarbrick was unmoved, much to Advocaat’s astonishment.
Asked if it was a penalty, he said: “Yes, 100 per cent – at least the way they are now giving penalties, it was a penalty. I could see it on television and it is clearly against his hand.”
The 67-year-old was nevertheless able to reflect upon a positive afternoon and a telling contribution from Defoe, who this week found himself at the centre of rumours that he had asked for a transfer and was being courted by Bournemouth.
He said: “That’s the reason he is a striker. He’s there to score goals. It was a good goal, a good action. Jermain is a very positive guy.
“Like I told you last week, he never came to me to leave the club or whatever, he never mentioned that. That was not fair to him, but the fans were really behind him today.”