Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Black Cats decide against Cattermole red card appeal
GUS POYET'S attempt to keep Sunderland in the Premier League has been dealt a blow after the club confirmed it would not be appealing Lee Cattermole’s red card.
The midfielder will now serve a three-match ban alongside Andrea Dossena after the pair were sent off within minutes of each other at the end of the first half in Saturday’s defeat to Hull City.
Poyet was unhappy with referee Andre Marriner’s decision to dismiss Cattermole for his challenge on former Sunderland midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady and intimated in his post-match press briefings that the club could appeal the red card.
However, upon reviewing the incident the club has decided not to go down that avenue and the Black Cats boss will now be without both players for three games.
They will miss Sunderland’s Capital One Cup tie against Southampton at the Stadium of Light tomorrow night before sitting out Sunday’s visit of Manchester City and the trip to Stoke City after the international break.
Losing the duo is a bitter blow for Poyet as he attempts to steer the Black Cats away from trouble after a dismal start to the season under former boss Paolo Di Canio.
Cattermole has been in impressive form since returning to the side after being frozen out by Di Canio and his presence will be missed in the next few weeks.
Dossena also looked to be establishing himself at left-back following a solid display in the win over Newcastle and his absence is likely to cause Poyet a selection headache. The Black Cats boss has highlighted the importance of starting players in their natural positions since arriving, but he may not be able to avoid doing so in the coming weeks.
Jack Colback could drop back into defence but with Cattermole missing Poyet will be keen to keep the Killingworth-born man in midfield. That means the Black Cats boss may have to field a similar back four to the one that played in the defeat at Swansea City with Phil Bardsley reverting to left-back and Ondrej Celustka coming in on the right.
Fit-again Wes Brown could also make a return to the starting line-up having played 45 minutes at the KC Stadium, but Poyet admitted it could still be too soon for the central defender to play 90 minutes.
“To come back after so long and play nine against 11, it probably wasn't the perfect time but he (Brown) has the skills and the intelligence to do it. I'm happy that he's back.”
And asked if Brown could start tomorrow night’s cup tie, Poyet simply answered: “Too soon.”
One player that has returned from injury is Steven Fletcher and he has been named in Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad for their upcoming friendlies against the United States and Norway.
Fletcher has not played for his country since suffering an ankle injury in the opening minutes of the 2-1 World Cup qualifying defeat to Wales at Hampden on March 22.
His return was delayed by a dislocated shoulder but he has played the last three games for Sunderland and scored in the derby win over Newcastle However, Strachan has warned the Black Cats striker he will have to be at his best to earn a place in the team after Steven Naismith impressed in the lone strikers role in victories over Macedonia and Croatia.
“He (Fletcher can add to what we have been doing already and if he surpasses what the boys have been doing up front in recent games, that will be terrific,” Strachan said.
“It will take him a wee while to get back to his best. If he's not back to his best, we can wait a bit because the other players playing up front now are playing quite well.
“So it's a not a mad rush, it's not desperate. It's great to have him back and I'm sure it will be a great feeling for him to be back.
“We are delighted to have him back obviously. Sunderland are delighted to have him back.
“Both of us need a good Steven Fletcher, which would add to our squad and definitely add to their squad as well.
“It's been a hard fight for him to get back but he has done great.”
Sunderland’s league game against Southampton has been moved after being selected for live television broadcast.
The Black Cats home fixture against the Saints at the Stadium of Light will still take place on Saturday 18 January, with an earlier kick-off time of 12.45pm.
Comments are closed on this article.