LEE CATTERMOLE is eager to finish the campaign on a high note after a timely return to action.
Cattermole impressed on his first appearance in almost two months in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with West Brom after being sidelined by knee and groin problems.
The 26-year-old has been a notable absentee during his stint on the treatment table, with Gus Poyet admitting that Sunderland have missed the Teessider’s presence in the middle of the park.
But after coming through 90 minutes unscathed against the Baggies, Cattermole hopes he can contribute towards what is ultimately a successful survival bid from Sunderland.
Cattermole said: “It was nice. I trained Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and just to come through those days, I was happy.
“The manager chose to play me. He felt it was a really important game and it paid off.
“I came through the game, I was fit and I was delighted how it went.
“I would love to have won the game, but on another day, I think we would have.
“I like to think I help players on the pitch and that’s a key asset for me.
“I like to think I drive players on and get more out of them.
“That’s one of my attributes and if that’s been missed, then that’s been missed.
“But I’m back now, I want to push on and finish the season strongly.”
All that was missing for Cattermole on his comeback was three points, despite Sunderland dominating proceedings against a West Brom side who never forced Black Cats keeper Costel Pantilimon into a meaningful save.
However, Sunderland were left angered by an Adam Johnson’s goal wrongly being ruled out for offside and referee Mike Jones opting to issue Baggies defender Joleon Lescott with a yellow, rather than red, card inside the opening five minutes.
“The game was there to be won, but at the same time, there won’t be many teams that come here, who set up and defend as well as they did,” added Cattermole.
“They’ll be happy with a point. They’re in a slightly better position in the league and they knew that a point would be great for them coming here.
“We scored a goal, let’s not forget that, and we got in behind when Danny (Graham) would have been one-on-one.
“He gave a yellow card which I believe is the wrong decision.
“Little things on the day didn’t quite go for us, but I think the effort and attitude from the boys was brilliant.”