Cattermole keen to repay Bruce

The Black Cats have slipped back into the relegation dogfight

following a dismal run of form that has increased the pressure on

Bruce. Cattermole is still full of admiration for the way his boss

is handling the situation and has vowed to do everything he can to

pull the club clear of trouble. A victory over Wigan on Saturday

would be the ideal time for Sunderland to start their recovery, and

Cattermole has a special reason for wanting to do well against his

former club. The midfielder was sent off the last time the teams

met – his second red card inside a fortnight having only just been

given the captaincy. Cattermole admits he was worried that Bruce

would hand somebody else the armband, but instead he stuck by the

23-year-old. “He didn’t speak to me for about 10 days after the

Wigan game, but I didn’t want to speak to him,” Cattermole said in

the Daily Star. “We weren’t blanking each other – we still said

hello – but he knew I needed space. “I didn’t speak to anyone for

the whole week. I was coming in, training hard and taking my

frustrations out there. “Then, when I could play again, he pulled

me to one side for the game at Liverpool and said, ‘You’ve got

nothing to prove. Go out and play your normal game’, so I went out

and played well. “The Wigan sending off was embarrassing, but he

stuck by me and never doubted me.” Cattermole added: “I’ll never

change the way I play, it’s got me where I am now. If I didn’t play

that way, the manager wouldn’t have bought me or made me captain.

“He thinks I can set the tone for the game and it rubs off on

others. I do accept sometimes I have to change my decision-making

and stay on my feet, but it’s easier said than done.” Sunderland

are just five points above the relegation zone going into

Saturday’s clash but Cattermole is convinced that Bruce is the

right man to lead them to safety. “We’re going through a sticky

patch,” he said. “But he’s come out and said if there’s any stick

flying around, he wants it to be aimed at him. “He’s been brilliant

and it would be nice to finish the season off strongly for him. “I

feel confident things are turning and we can still finish in the

top 10.”