Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

City Nightmare Can Be a Blessing

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

City Nightmare Can Be a Blessing

Article excerpt

LEE Cattermole believes Sunderland's biggest defeat this season was a blessing in disguise - because it stopped them brushing their problems under the carpet, writes STUART RAYNER.

The Black Cats have lost six of their last seven matches, culminating in a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City on Sunday.

"Since the turn of the year, we haven't really been playing like ourselves," conceded Cattermole (left), who made his first start since December at Eastlands following a back injury. "But we've had a sit down in the last few days, aired a few home truths, and a lot of positives have come out of that. "We've all got a few things off our chest. We came into training yesterday and everyone had a smile on their face. "I feel like we've put a lot of things to bed and can move forward into the last seven games of the season.

"If we had been beaten 1-0 or 2-0, things might not have come to a head as much. But it's made us produce a real response. We have a decent run coming up now and, if we're on our game, there are plenty of games we can take points from."

In the first half of the season, Sunderland consistently occupied the European qualification places. But with just one win since January 5, relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion can overtake them on Saturday with victory at the Stadium of Light. Injuries to the likes of Cattermole have played a part, but the captain is in no mood for excuses. "I felt like I'd come back into the side and a few things had changed," he said. "I don't think we need to get back to basics, but we have to get back to what we were doing well in the first half of the season. "We've had a couple of good meetings this season, and a couple of good things have come out of that. "We're not too far away from the top seven, but we've been on a bad run. …

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