LEE CATTERMOLE’S suspension was an inevitable hurdle that Sunderland were going to face, insists Gus Poyet.
Midfielder Cattermole will miss this Sunday’s visit of Everton after incurring a one-match ban for a fifth yellow card of the campaign in Monday night’s victory at Crystal Palace.
Cattermole – who faces three weeks without competitive action due to the international break – spoke last week of how he was aware of the disciplinary tightrope he was walking, but accepted it could be an unavoidable side-effect to his combatative approach.
Head coach Poyet is equally philosophical, with Liam Bridcutt likely to be handed his first Premier League start of the season in place of Cattermole, although Jack Rodwell could also be an option after the £10million man missed the Palace game with a minor calf injury.
“Lee is Lee,” said Poyet. “It doesn’t bother me.
“It was going to happen sooner or later, especially in a game like that.
“It was a difficult game for the ref with so many fouls and tackles because you’re competing. Liam has been fine and is waiting.
“I’ve even been tempted every now and then to play them both together.”
While Bridcutt, who came off the bench to set up Sunderland’s third goal at Palace, is a ready-made replacement for Cattermole, Poyet is not blessed with such options at the back.
Patrick van Aanholt became the third defender in Sunderland’s first-team squad to head to the treatment table after the Dutch international dislocated his shoulder at Selhurst Park.
Sunderland are continuing to assess the extent of the lay-off facing van Aanholt, who joins Billy Jones and Sebastian Coates on the sidelines.
But Poyet was at least hugely impressed by the performance of debutant right-back Anthony Reveillere, who was forced to switch sides to replace van Aanholt at left-back.
“The only worry is if we lose Patrick for a while,” said Poyet.
“But good on Anthony, he had a great debut. He’s a player who knows football very well.
“He was probably thinking ‘thank you gaffer, you put me in for my first game in England against (Wilfried) Zaha and (Yannick) Bolasie, on a wet pitch’.
“But he did terrific. I’m very pleased for him.
“We knew when we signed him that he could play both sides. And I have to be honest and say Santi (Vergini) played better at right-back than centre-half.”