Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Midfielder: I'll Fight with All I've Got - Pardew

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Midfielder: I'll Fight with All I've Got - Pardew

Article excerpt

LEE Cattermole says Sunderland's entire future is at stake as they enter the final furlong of their gruelling survival fight, The Black Cats' midfielder has experienced relegation with Middlesbrough and admits he struggled to handle the job cuts and slashed budgets that followed the Teessiders' demotion into the second tier.

The impact of relegation in 2009 is still felt keenly at the Riverside and Cattermole has noticed a change in mood among his Middlesbrough-supporting family about the football club. The Premier League buzz has long since evaporated and he admits it is "not the same" for the club now that they are plying their trade in the second tier.

That experience has given him an acute sense of why staying in the Premier League is important to Sunderland. Cattermole believes that survival would be "massive", both securing the immediate future of the club and also giving them a platform to build on for next year.

They head to Manchester United this week looking to collect enough points from their final three games to keep their heads above water when the season ends on May 11.

"I know what is at stake and how important it is to keep the club up," Cattermole says.

"You look at Middlesbrough for instance. I would really struggle to deal with going down.

"I know the consequences of it."

Expanding on the theme, he suggested that the impact of relegation would be wide-ranging and would ravage the club. The midfielder said: "This is a huge club and a big city. Football is what the city lives for. If we go alone fans and players. Whatever manager you are you are going to have some bad times, some really bad times.

"If you're going to walk away, then in my view you do not have the make-up to be a manager or a leader of men. If you're in the middle of a field, surrounded by armies, left right and centre, you can't just say I've had enough now, sorry. It doesn't work like that. You start your career and you realise the difficulity of managing a football team, of running a coaching session with professional footballers, but then you get a job and you look at the other jobs in the country and I consider this to b"one of the biggest jobs. …

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