Gus Poyet has offered a glowing appreciation of Lee Cattermole by insisting the midfielder is the kind of character that the club needs.
Cattermole endured a horror summer in which he was stripped of the captaincy and his squad number and dumped on the transfer list by Paolo Di Canio, but has since roared back into favour at the club with a string of stirring performances.
It hasn't gone unnoticed by Gus Poyet, who told the Sunderland Echo:
Lee is a player who has had a certain reputation but he has been superb for me.
He has been exceptional. Positive. Every time fit.
He has been organising others and keeping them right, he has been available and playing all the time.
I need strong committed players at my club and Lee Cattermole is one of them.
Cattermole's presence in the side is so difficult to judge. On the one hand, he is as committed and courageous as they come, and you can't help but love that about him. On the other, he has been caught out a few too many times and cost the side crucial goals.
But he is someone you want with you in a fight, isn't he? He is the one player who, even through the shocking month we had after the cup final, was always asking for the ball and always demanding responsibility. Liam Bridcutt has come in and challenged him, but Cattermole looks the better bet for now, and considering Poyet's faith in his former Brighton captain, this praise is telling.
Also worth noting Poyet describing Sunderland as 'my club'. It should probably dispel a few rumours about his commitment, but it won't. The nationals don't seem to work like that. Hopefully Cattermole is still here next season with Poyet.
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