Cattermole calls for calm
The 23-year-old midfielder and his team-mates head for Arsenal on Sunday sitting in 16th place in the Premier League table and with the furore over their plight having been quelled only slightly by the fightback in the 2-2 home draw with West Brom before the international break. Indeed, the Black Cats have won only one of their seven league games to date and collected just six points in the process. Add to that the bitter disappointment of derby defeat on their own park at the hands of arch-rivals Newcastle, a club widely perceived to be once again in disarray before a ball had been kicked, and the ugly mood on Wearside is perhaps understandable. Manager Steve Bruce, whose critics have been in good voice in recent weeks, has hit out at the "hysteria", and Cattermole insists a more measured approach is necessary. He said: "If we had beaten Norwich away, we would have been back up to seventh, eighth. Two wins in the Premier League - I know it's hard to do that, but if you get two back-to-back wins, it can soon change. "It's all so close at the minute and we really shouldn't be reading too much into leagues. We should be focussing on the team and how we are playing as a unit. "At the minute, we just need to start keeping more clean sheets, and that starts from the top as a team. "We need to work a bit harder and have a better shape and concede fewer goals, and that will give us a chance of winning some games." The disquiet among the Red and White faithful perhaps stems from the wholesale changes Bruce made during the summer in an effort to drag the club on to the next level. Last season's top-10 finish fulfilled the club's target, and the addition on 10 new signings - 11 if the conversion of Ahmed Elmohamady's loan move into a permanent deal is taken into account - represented something of a watershed. However, Bruce's unwillingness to throw all his new boys in together, coupled with Asamoah Gyan's untimely exit for the United Arab Emirates, Phil Bardsley's four-match ban and the police investigation into Titus Bramble's alleged off-field behaviour have served as unwelcome distractions. The manager is adamant there have been positives and that only time will reveal the wisdom or otherwise of his latest recruitment drive, and again, Cattermole concurs. He said: "We have brought nine, 10 new players here and it's not going to happen overnight, but I think you can see the base of the team is good and we will hopefully progress from there. "But at this time of the season, it's hard with all the international breaks. You are playing two and three breaks and then an international, then two or three games and another break. "Players aren't getting back for 10, 12 days and it's really hard, especially with the new players we have got in. "We have got two big games now, away to Arsenal and away to Bolton, who are both struggling as well, so hopefully we can go there and counter that and come away with some points and turn our season around. "That's what we have got to do." Cattermole has had his own crosses to bear this season and found himself sitting on the bench for the 4-0 victory over Stoke on September 18 after a series of, by his standards, below-par displays. Being dropped was hard to swallow, but the midfielder took it on the chin and was much improved in the 2-2 draw with the Baggies last time out. He said: "I play a lot of golf and if you look at golfers, you can't be good in every round. "If you have got people waiting to step in, they are going to get their chance, and it is up to you to just keep working hard and bounce back, and that's what I'm going to do."