Chris Coleman explains why Lee Cattermole didn't play in Sunderland's defeat to Fulham

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman.
Sunderland boss Chris Coleman.
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Lee Cattermole missed the Fulham defeat with a knee injury, with Chris Coleman admitting there is no point taking risks now Sunderland’s fate is sealed.

Cattermole has been playing through the pain barrier before undergoing a scan on Friday and missed the 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage last night.

Aiden McGeady was also missing, the winger has also been playing through the pain barrier having had injections in his heel.

It meant starts for Ovie Ejaria and Ethan Robson in midfield, with 16-year-old schoolboy Bali Mumba named on the bench, an unused sub.

“Bali, yes he enjoyed his experience,” said Coleman.

“Catts had a scan on his knee and I think he has picked something up. He has been playing through it, same with McGeady, he has been having his heel injected every weekend.

“We don’t want to take a chance with them now, we have to be fair to both players.”

Fulham’s win left already relegated Sunderland rooted to the foot of the Championship on 44 points, four points adrift of Burton Albion with just one game to play, which means they will finish bottom.

Despite that, Coleman was pleased with the performance of his players under the lights in the televised game.

Coleman added: “I was delighted with the boys. It was a hard game, up against a team playing for something completely different.

“I wasn’t disappointed at all, really pleased with our guys.

“You can come here and get embarrassed but it was a good game, quite exciting.

“We had stood up to Fulham, we had a crack, quite a few young boys involved but they didn’t have any fear. We had a good verve about us.

“I was bitterly disappointed with the officials though, Fulham don’t need any help but they got some help.”

Victory pushed Fulham into second, two points clear of Cardiff City, who have a game in hand.