Cattermole to play in more attacking role for Sunderland

ON THE ATTACK ... Lee Cattermole.
ON THE ATTACK ... Lee Cattermole.

LEE CATTERMOLE believes he could operate in a more attacking role – if Gus Poyet opts to restore the Teessider to Sunderland’s midfield.

Cattermole has been forced to bide his time since returning from suspension, with the former Sunderland captain making his return off the bench against Spurs last weekend after being an unused substitute for the previous three games.

With on-loan Swansea man Ki Sung-Yeung thriving in the holding midfield role, head coach Poyet has struggled to incorporate both Cattermole and the South Korean in the same side.

But Cattermole, who played alongside Ki in Kevin Ball’s stint as caretaker, is confident the pair can work in tandem, even if it means playing in a more advanced midfield role.

Cattermole said: “At the Under-21 Championships (in 2009) I played on the right of three with Mark Noble and (Fabrice) Muamba behind us. It worked well.

“We got to the final and I felt it complemented the energy I’ve got to get around the pitch.

“But it’s the gaffer’s decision and I’m happy to play in whichever role he thinks I’m best suited too.

“The manager sets the formation up, but I think if you look at the first three league games I played this season, me and Ki played really well together.

“Obviously it was a different style, but we can play together.

“But it’s the gaffer’s team. He sets the side up and if it’s one in front of the back four at the minute and he’s choosing to go with Ki and doesn’t see me any higher up, I’ll have to sit tight and hopefully get my chance.”

Poyet must decide whether to start with Ki and Cattermole together for the first time during his stint as Sunderland boss in tomorrow’s crunch clash at fellow strugglers West Ham.

Basement boys Sunderland head into the encounter with a minimum five point gap with all of the teams above them in the Premier League table.

And with the Black Cats beginning to be cast adrift, Cattermole admits Sunderland are running out of time to register the victories needed to avoid the drop.

The 25-year-old added: “We’ve talked long enough. We can say we need to do this or that, but we need to start winning games.

“You can have millions and millions of different reasons why, but we just need to keep believing in ourselves, roll our sleeves up and dig in.”

“You can’t keep counting the games down.

“We need to win 10, simple as that. However we do it, we have to start doing it quick.

“The next games are crucial. We’ve proven we can beat Man City, so we can beat all the other teams as well.

“But we need to start performing every week and try to put some points on the board.

“We’ve played a lot of the big teams at home which is difficult.

“We need to go to West Ham, roll our sleeves up and have a right good go.”