Cattermole and Bridcutt can be Sunderland’s middle men

Lee Cattermole and Liam Bridcutt.
Lee Cattermole and Liam Bridcutt.
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GUS Poyet says Liam Bridcutt and Lee Cattermole CAN play in the same side together.

And the likelihood is that Sunderland fans will see them both in tandem in the same team before the end of the season.

“We trained this week with them two playing a lot together,” the Black Cats’ boss revealed.

“I think that was important because I don’t want them to be thinking: ‘it’s either him or me’ when it comes to selection.

“We worked a lot on tactics this week and having a system that is defensively very, very strong could be important to us in some of the tougher games coming up.”

Since defensive midfield specialist Bridcutt moved to the Stadium of Light in January, fans have wondered whether he and Cattermole could possibly function in the same side.

The defensive midield role is clearly the strongest suit of both players, and two into one does not go.

But Poyet pointed out that there used to be a similarly hot topic of debate among supporters a few months ago which is now seen as an irrelevance.

“I remember when Lee Cattermole was coming back into the side, there was a question of could he and Ki Sung-Yueng play in the same side together?” Poyet said.

“Ki had done very well in the defensive midfield role and many seemed to think that I had to choose between Ki and Lee in games.

“We showed though that both players could comfortably play in the same side together.

“And the same could easily happen with Liam and Lee.”

The two are unlikely to be paired together for the trip to Norwich City this weekend.

But in some of the particularly difficult away trips - like visits to free-scoring Liverpool and Manchester City, the potential partnership could come into its own.