Hopes & Expectations

Lee Cattermole has given a candid interview about his ten years at Sunderland and his hopes for the future. He said: "It makes me proud to have been here ten years. It has been difficult at times. I’ve had to keep my focus and not get carried away. It’s too easy to ring your agent and ask to leave. I found myself out of the team and suddenly the manager changes and you’re back in and captain again. We had the longest spell the club has had in the Premier League but, like all clubs, the managers, directors and owners change. It’s difficult to get to the top of the game and stay there – that’s why someone like Sir Alex Ferguson is a great. I feel like the club is heading back that way. I’ve always been grounded and not thought I’m too advanced for a certain level. I went from 11 years in the Premier League to the Championship, then League One."

"You have to switch your mindset and turn it into a positive. I never thought I’d play this low but that’s no disrespect because it’s brilliant and there are very good players. One thing you should always do is honour your contract, turn up for work and do the best you can. The club has changed from top to bottom. And that will send us in the right direction because there is a real feelgood factor. 100% for us – the fans can have such an impact on the team. If we’re playing good stuff and the boys are confident it’s a terrific atmosphere and a tough place to come. It can also work the other way. But I’ve played for teams with a lot smaller crowds and fans who maybe don’t care as much about the football. This can be a really special place and on Boxing Day we had over 40,000 for a League One game – no matter what the league, if you’re winning they love it. I think we’re good enough to go on and win the league. I’m not saying we will but we have great staff, great management and that’s what we want to do. On and off the pitch I’ve made mistakes and you learn as you go. I’ve been sent off and that hurts. I was sent off two times in three games when I was first made captain here. I don’t know if I was too hungry to have an impact or it was too much, too young. I’m a much better person in terms of how I feel on the pitch. I feel much calmer and a lot more comfortable about my football. There are so many things you look for in a captain and I’m more the typical type. I’m on the front foot, demanding, vocal – whereas other people lead by example and are quite calm. I’ve got more into that role the older I’ve got and as football has changed. There aren’t many voices around the training ground. I’ve learned how to pass on advice and not be as aggressive as you might want, because that’s the way players are. I naturally always had a hunger and desire from a young age. The style is different with every manager. Some have been high tempo, direct and competitive. Some have been more possession based. I’ve learned to adapt. I’ve watched and listened and taken on advice to improve."