Rowell Report: Sunderland midfielders really do deserve credit

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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I’VE been in Sunderland teams that have done well and I’ve been in Sunderland teams that have struggled and let me tell you, it’s better to be in successful teams!

Sunderland this season have been both – they’ve had fantastic spells and they’ve had dreadful spells.

And one thing you notice as a player is that when you’re doing well, everyone is queuing up to give you pats on the back.

That’s a nice feeling and Sunderland players will deservedly be feeling quite good right now.

There’s a lot of plaudits being handed out across the team and that is only right.

Sunderland kept a clean sheet at the weekend and Player of the Season Vito Mannone did his part while the back four were tremendous.

And up front, you can’t complain about the credit that the attackers like Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini and even Emanuele Giaccherini are getting.

But I was pleased to see Gus Poyet before the Cardiff game praising the midfield engine room, where he thinks the unsung heroes lie.

Seb Larsson and Jack Colback are both out of contract this summer and they deserve enormous credit for being so dedicated to the cause of club they expect to leave in the next few weeks.

But I have to say that Lee Cattermole really does deserve the utmost recognition for the way he has played in the last few months.

On Sunday, against Cardiff, he delivered a couple of stunning long-range passes to feet – the sort of skill and vision that no-one expects of him.

But it is all the usual areas in which he is expected to excel, in which he has really delivered.

You can’t put a measurement on the sort of motivational force and influential element he provides for the team and what we have seen in this recent Sunderland revival is Lee Cattermole at his best.