Cattermole: Refs out to get me

Under-pressure manager Steve Bruce substituted the tough-tackling

former Middlesbrough and Wigan man after he received his third

booking of the season with 20 minutes remaining in the 2-2 draw

with West Brom prior to the international break. It was a change

designed to protect Cattermole, who has been booked 47 times and

sent off on five occasions in domestic competitions since 2005/06,

but he defends his record. “I feel like they (the referees) are out

there for me at the minute,” he said. “Maybe it’s my stupid

mistakes in the past that have got me that reputation, so I can’t

sit here and blame everyone else. I have to get rid of that

reputation, but it’s so hard at the minute when I find myself

getting a succession of soft yellow cards. “It affects your game.

It’s something I have to address, but if you put every foul I’ve

ever made up on the television, I think there’d be one tackle which

was actually a bad one. “That was against Scott Parker when I was

playing for Wigan and I’ve spoken to him since to apologise about

it. That’s the only bad tackle I’ve made in my career – all the

rest have been genuine attempts to win the ball, not nasty attempts

to hurt someone.” Cattermole was furious after being substituted

against West Brom and believes Baggies midfielder Steven Reid is

just one of several players who attempt to paint him as a villain.

“The tackle I got booked for wasn’t a foul, simple as that,” he

said. “But it’s twice it’s happened now with Steven Reid. He’s six

foot four and he rolls around like a girl, simple as that. “It’s

twice it’s happened and it’s a shame. People whinge about the

foreigners, but he’s a British lad and he’s acting like that. I was

booked for that challenge, and then the second one was on him

again.” Captain Cattermole had returned to Sunderland’s starting

line-up against West Brom having been dropped for the 4-0 win over

Stoke. “The gaffer probably changes three players for every game,

but as soon as it was me it was a big issue and highlighted

everywhere,” said Cattermole. “He told me the reasons, asked me if

I wanted protecting in the papers and I said I didn’t want

anything. I just said, ‘tell them it’s my form and I’ll bounce back

from it’.”