LEE Cattermole says that Sunderland’s players are men on a mission and going to Old Trafford tomorrow holds no fears for a Black Cats squad determined to end the season as strongly as possible.
“We’ve been to Manchester City and done well and Chelsea and done well, so why not at United too?” the midfielder asked.
“To be honest, going to Old Trafford is not something I think we’re worrying about – we’re just concentrating on getting out there and doing our best.
“It was strange after the Cardiff City game that there was no massive celebrations in our dressing room afterwards – we were all quite quiet and I think that was because we’re so focused at the moment on what we’re trying to achieve..
“Yes, we had a great win over Cardiff, but that’s just one step and we’ve got more to do.
“Now we want to go on and try to win the games against Man United, West Brom and Swansea.”
A Sunderland win over Manchester United would not be as surprising now as it would have been before Poyet’s man turned the title race on its head with a draw at Manchester City and win over Chelsea to complete an amazing turnaround in fortunes.
Less than a month ago, Sunderland suffered the embarrassment of a 5-1 defeat at Spurs on their way to slipping seven points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Premier League table.
But Cattermole wonders if Sunderland needed to suffer in order to dig deep and bring the best out of themselves.
“I think sometimes you have to hit rock-bottom before you can respond,” said the Teessider.
“That game was the point where we turned to each other and said if this is how it is going to be, it will be a hard run-in.
“We resolved that it could not happen again and we came out fighting.
“We’ve shown some belief, players have hit form and that was exactly what we needed.
“You need a few heroes to step forward, and I think that’s what we’ve had in recent weeks.
“It has been an unbelievable response when you think where we were at after that game at Spurs, and how we’ve managed to dig ourselves out.
“We’re in a position now where it is in our own hands, and that’s all we could hope for.”
* Don’t miss the top report and reaction from Manchester United-Sunderland tomorrow, plus the biggest and best coverage of SAFC and local football, in the online Football Echo. It’s available on this website from around 6.45pm tomorrow.