LEE Cattermole believes clear-the-air talks in the wake of Sunderland’s thrashing at Manchester City could prove to be a watershed.
The Sunderland skipper insists the players realised the precarious situation they were in after hitting rock bottom in the dismal 5-0 defeat at Eastlands last weekend.
Cattermole (pictured) is confident there will be a response for the visit of West Brom on Saturday as Sunderland look for their first win in eight games.
“Since the turn of the year, we haven’t really been playing like ourselves,” said the 23-year-old.
“But we’ve had a sit down in the last few days, aired a few home truths, and a lot of positives have come out of that.
“We’ve all got a few things off our chest. We came into training yesterday and everyone had a smile on their face.
“I feel like we’ve put a lot of things to bed and can move forward into the last seven games of the season.
“If we had been beaten 1-0 or 2-0, things might not have come to a head as much. But it’s made us produce a real response. We have a decent run coming up now and, if we’re on our game, there are plenty of games we can take points from.”
Cattermole made his first start since December at Eastlands after three months out with a back injury.
“I don’t think I’ll be back to my best until next season now,” he added.
“I’ve had three months off and total rest for nine weeks – you don’t even get that in the summer and then you have six or seven weeks to get yourself back fit.
“I honestly don’t think I’ll be as fit as I’d like to be until the start of next season.”