LEE CATTERMOLE hopes to draw a line under his latest red card after returning from suspension.
Cattermole was sent off for the sixth time as a Sunderland player – and the eighth time during his senior career – in last month’s defeat at Hull City for a challenge on former Black Cats winger Ahmed Elmohamady.
The 25-year-old thought he had turned a corner with referees after avoiding a yellow card in his previous six appearances during the campaign.
But after making his first appearance since serving the subsequent three-match ban in last weekend’s defeat to Spurs, Cattermole has held his hands up over his latest disciplinary indiscretion.
“I’ve only got myself to blame after getting sending off,” said the former Middlesbrough player.
“I gave the referee a chance to give me a red card.
“I was a bit disappointed. I thought there’s a lot of other tackles I’ve seen throughout the season which were worse than that.
“But it’s done now. I want to put it behind me, move on and hopefully it won’t happen again.
“It’s such a fine line now. I’d hardly made a foul all season and thought I’d cracked it, but you mistime one, see yourself walking and you think ‘I didn’t see that coming’.
“I thought I was a million miles from that.
“I didn’t need to read anything about what anyone said after the game or what pundits said, because I knew myself how disappointed I was to get sent off.
“But I’ll have to come back from it.
“I believe I play the right way – fully committed – and that time I maybe went a little bit over the mark.
“Maybe you have to stay on your feet, it’s that one that gets away from you when you have to lunge.”
The timing of the suspension was particularly frustrating for the midfielder after he had been in good form since coming in from the cold under former head coach Paolo Di Canio.
Yet Cattermole still feels the fall-out from the incident was overblown.
“I came back in the team and felt I was playing well and ended up getting sent off,” said the Teessider.
“But I’ve been here before. I know what I’ve got to do and I’m ready to play now.
“I’m not being arrogant about it, but the whole thing gets blown out of proportion.
“Everyone gets sent off. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid defender) has been sent off well into double figures (17 times) but it’s Lee Cattermole...
“I’ll probably get sent off again in my career, but I think I play the game the right way. I’m fair.
“I took the punishment.
“I think I do have to be extra careful and I think I have been doing.
“I’ll focus on the rest of my game, which I think I do pretty well.”
During his suspension, Ki Sung-Yeung has established himself as the holding midfielder in Gus Poyet’s starting XI with Cattermole an unused substitute against Aston Villa and Chelsea before returning against Spurs.
And the former Middlesbrough man realises he may have to bide his time to regain his place for the Premier League’s basement boys.
He added: “The gaffer had to make a change and Ki has come in and done very well. He suits what the gaffer wants in that position.
“I’ll have to bide my time and be patient, but I’m enjoying being fit and training every day.
“I’m just looking forward to getting a chance, then staying in the team and helping out in the position we’re in.”