LEE Cattermole – who says Sunderland’s players are all in it together, after a string of stirring performances – is convinced that the fans feel the same way too.
And he believes that that might just be the key to victory for the Black Cats in Sunday’s relegation six-pointer against Cardiff City.
Cattermole, an integral part of Sunderland’s haul of four points from trips to Manchester City and Chelsea in the last two games, told the Echo: “The fans were brilliant in the Everton game (in the last home match) and I particularly appreciated the fact that they applauded us off the pitch at the end of it.
“That says a lot about how they always back you if you give everything in a game – even if you lose.
“We couldn’t have tried harder to get the win against Everton and we couldn’t believe we hadn’t got something out of the game at the final whistle.
“But the great thing was that the fans stuck with us from first minute to last – roaring us on when we were attacking and sticking by us when things weren’t going our way.
“I think they’ve realised that, with all the change we had last summer, it was always going to be difficult, always going to be a challenge – we had an inexperienced manager and then we brought in even more inexperience with so many of the players that were arrived at the club.
“And I think the supporters also recognise that we are trying so hard to keep the club up.
“As a group of players, we’re determined to go out there and win this weekend and having the fans behind us is going to be a big help for us and a challenge for Cardiff City.
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere this Sunday and I want it to bring the very best out of us as a team because getting three points this weekend is all we care about and all the fans care about.
“It’s going to take 90 minutes’ maximum effort from everyone.”
The game between the bottom-of-the-table Black Cats and third-bottom Bluebirds has potentially huge repercussions for both sides – especially if one of them wins it.
But midfielder Cattermole says he has every confidence in his team-mates and their desire not to give it up and not to give in.
“There’s a lot hanging on the game,” admitted the former Middlesbrough and Wigan man.
“But we’ll be ready for it.
“I think we’ve proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, with our last three performances in particular, that none of the players involved is giving it up.
“We’re all desperate to keep this club in the Premier League and we’ve kept on believing – even though you can understand a lot of people writing you off when you go seven points adrift at the bottom.
“We’ve done well to get ourselves back in a position where we can get out of it.
“Now we have to carry that on.”
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