LEE Cattermole’s superb Capital One cup final performance has guaranteed him a place in the starting line-up at Hull City this Sunday, as Sunderland plot an immediate return to Wembley
Cattermole was outstanding in the compelling but ultimately doomed attempt to beat Manchester City last Sunday at the national stadium.
And head-coach Gus Poyet says so good was the midfielder’s display that he has virtually ‘picked himself’ for tomorrow’s FA Cup quarter-final at the KC Stadium.
Cattermole was the first name on the team-sheet last weekend. after Poyet rested him in the league game against Arsenal previously, and he will be the first name on the team sheet this weekend as the Uruguayan looks for more cup glory.
The casualty of Poyet’s decision will be January signing Liam Bridcutt - who was cup-tied for the final - and who played in the 4-1 defeat at Arsenal a fortnight ago.
And while many thought the arrival of Bridcutt would see Cattermole eclipsed, it is the Teessider whose form will see him retain the defensive midfield role when the Black Cats take on the Tigers.
Poyet told the Echo: “I brought Liam to the club, but Lee Cattermole will play on Sunday.
“He plays because of him - not because of me.
“He plays because of the way he played at Wembley.
“I don’t have any favourites - the players pick themselves most of the time - and that’s why Lee will play tomorrow.
“Liam has to be ready, though.
“There will come a moment when we need him - maybe for the last half-hour, or maybe for the next game from the beginning - and it’s up to him to make sure that he takes his chance when he gets it.
“That’s the challenge I want at Sunderland for my players because that what brings clubs success - the better they perform and the more competition there is, the better it is for the team.”
Cattermole will be hoping it’s second-time lucky at the KC Stadium this weekend while Sunderland fans will be hoping for third time lucky after two league defeats this season to the side managed by former Black Cats’ boss Steve Bruce.
Cattermole and Andrea Dossena were both sent off in the league meeting between the sides in November, while Wes Brown was dismissed in the return game last month.
But Poyet is determined to ensure there is no repeat this time round.
“Every game is different,” he said. “And I don’t think that what happened at Hull last time will have any bearing on this weekend’s game.
“We have to finish this game 11 vs 11 - that’s the main thing.
“You cannot read too much into the two league defeats because the sides were not even.
“We must not let that happen again - this time there must be no mistakes.
”I think we have a point to prove - that if it stays at 11 v 11, we are good enough to win this game.”
* FORMER Sunderland manager Dennis Smith will be guest speaker at the Chester-le-Street Sunderland Supporters’ branch annual sporting dinner next month.
And Dennis’s former boss at Roker Park, Sir Bob Murray, will be among the guests listening in!
The event will be held in the banqueting suite of the Stadium of Light on Thursday, April 17 with doors opening 7pm for a night which includes a three-course dinner and entertainment provided by comedian Paul Boardman.
Ticket prices are £35 with dress code formal - no jeans or trainers - for a night which concludes at 12.30am.
Anyone who wants tickets or further information, should contact Derek Stubbs on on 410 9635 or 07887 921 726 or email: email@example.com.