LEE CATTERMOLE believes Sunderland’s knack of consistently picking up points will see the Black Cats beat the drop.
Sunderland have blown the chance to create clear daylight with the relegation zone in their last two ‘winnable’ Stadium of Light outings after becoming the first side to drop points at home to QPR and then being held to a stalemate by a stubborn West Brom side last weekend.
It leaves Gus Poyet’s men a precarious three points above the relegation zone, prior to two quick-fire away trips to fourth top Manchester United this Saturday and then bogey team Hull City three days later.
But while Sunderland have failed to take a decisive step away from danger, fit-again midfielder Cattermole points out that the Black Cats have managed to keep their points tally ticking over this season.
Draw specialists Sunderland have lost the fewest number of games in the bottom half of the Premier League and have only suffered three successive defeats on one occasion this season – January’s run against Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs.
“I think if you look at the season, we haven’t gone on any eight or nine game runs without a point or without a win,” said Cattermole.
“We’ve been really consistent throughout the year.
“We’ve had a couple of bad defeats where we thought we’d cracked it – the Hull game and QPR especially.
“Those are the ones we need to address on the back of our next win.
“We’re not getting carried away.
“But we need to approach the next game in the right way and be really solid.
“After our wins, we’ve not really followed it up too well.
“But we’ve got to look to finish the season strong.”
Saturday’s opponents Man United have won 10 of their 13 top flight home games so far this season – a stark contrast to their form on the road, where they suffered a miserable defeat at Swansea City last Saturday.
But Poyet’s men have fond memories of Old Trafford after triumphing on penalties in the Capital One Cup semi-final last season, before their first league win there since 1968 last May, proved to be a huge step on the road to survival.
Cattermole added: “They’re a strong side with loads of quality, but we’re not going to fear them.
“We’ll go there with a gameplan and it showed last year that it can work.”