Cattermole and Bridcutt in ‘fierce fight’ for place in Sunderland team

Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet.
Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet.
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GUS POYET expects a fierce fight for places between Lee Cattermole and Liam Bridcutt after the latter’s impressive display at Liverpool.

Bridcutt made only his second Premier League start of the campaign in today’s 0-0 draw at Liverpool after Sunderland boss Poyet opted to rest fellow defensive midfielder Cattermole.

Cattermole has been Poyet’s first-choice to sit in front of the back four this season, but January signing Bridcutt has made the most of his opportunity against Merseyside pair Everton and Liverpool.

Poyet said: “I think that more than having a difficult time to settle in (after his arrival) he (Liam) had Lee Cattermole in an incredible situation.

“He’s been performing at the highest level.

“It’s made it very difficult for Liam to play.

“He knows that role to perfection and the things we need from the defensive central midfielder.

“It showed today with plenty of actions. He can play week-in, week-out.

“Now, they’re going to fight for their place.”

Cattermole was introduced to the fray for the final 20 minutes and sat alongside Bridcutt in the middle of the park.

But after briefly experimenting with the pair as a double act last season, Poyet is not necessarily convinced that they can work in tandem.

“Can they play together? I don’t know,” added Poyet.

“It looks difficult, but for the team it’s good to know that they’re going to do the right things defending the back four.

“I’m pleased for Liam.

“He played one game against Everton and did very well.

“Now he had another chance and I’m delighted for him.”