KI SUNG-YEUNG hopes to hold off the challenge of the returning Lee Cattermole to remain Sunderland’s midfield linchpin.
Referee Kevin Friend’s decision to send off Sunderland centre-half Wes Brown completely overshadowed Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Stoke City, yet there was another assured display from Ki, who has been a pivotal figure in the three games since Cattermole was dismissed at Hull City earlier this month.
Cattermole will return to contention for next weekend’s trip to Aston Villa after completing his suspension and will rival the South Korean for a starting spot as the holding player in Gus Poyet’s midfield.
But Ki says he has revelled with the responsibility of being Sunderland’s playmaker and the on-loan Swansea man insists he is enjoying Poyet’s brand of football.
“There’s a bit of competition with Lee coming back,” he said.
“But in any position there should be competition so it’s going to be good to push each other.
“The way we’re trying to play suits me. It’s the way I like to play.
“As everyone has seen over the last few games, we can pass the ball well, even under pressure. We proved that in the Man City match.
“But we need to keep going to get some good results.
“It’s not easy playing in that role. We try to keep it simple, but there’s a responsibility to get the ball from the back and give it to the strikers or wingers.
“It’s not easy, but I’m trying to help this team to be better.”