Sunderland's Lee Cattermole finally getting the recognition he deserves, says Will Buckley

Will Buckley believes Lee Cattermole is appreciated on Wearside - and it's only a matter of time before others take notice

Tim Keeton/Getty Images Sunderland's Lee Cattermole
Sunderland's Lee Cattermole

Lee Cattermole is finally getting the recognition he deserves at Sunderland, according to new signing Will Buckley.

Ex-England under-21 man Cattermole’s form at the end of last season as part of the Black Cats side which completed the Great Escape, and at the start of the current campaign, has even led some to question why he has never won a senior cap.

Winger Buckley says holding midfielders such as Cattermole rarely pick up the plaudits, but the 26-year-old’s contribution has not gone unnoticed on Wearside - and it is only a matter of time before others begin to pay attention.

Buckley, who made a £2.5m move to the Stadium of Light this summer, said: “I don’t think Lee gets the recognition he deserves, but that can sometimes happen with players who play in that position.

“It’s fairly widespread people playing that role don’t get the credit.

People have noticed it here though, and hopefully he’ll start getting wider recognition as well.”

Buckley is Sunderland’s most recent arrival, joining the Black Cats less than a fortnight ago, while Cattermole is the club’s longest-serving player as he starts his sixth season on Wearside, but the pair were the stand-out players in the Black Cats’ 1-1 draw against Manchester United at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

The Red Devils’ 3-5-2 formation provided plenty of space for Buckley to attack down the right flank on his home debut.

Buckley said: “That’s the way I like to play.

“I try to stretch the game and that’s what the manager has brought me here for.

“Getting the ball as much as I can and trying to get at players – that’s probably the best aspect of my game.

“That’s what I need to do as much as possible.

“I always knew it was going to be a step up from the Championship.

“That is why everyone wants to play in the Premier League.

“I always felt I was ready to make that step and as soon as I arrived at Sunderland I expected to be playing with better players.

“I was certainly up against a different class of player facing Man United.

“It’s a big step, but I’m confident it’s one I can take.”

Getty Images Jack Rodwell of Sunderland warms up with Connor Wickham and Lee Cattermole
Jack Rodwell of Sunderland warms up with Connor Wickham and Lee Cattermole

Sunderland secured a deserved point, with another summer signing Jack Rodwell marking his home debut with a goal to cancel out Juan Mata’s opener.

Buckley added: “We knew United had to come here and win so we did well to come away with a point, I think it’s a good result.

“It was frustrating to concede the goal in the way we did because there was a bit of a deflection on the cross and that probably caught the centre-backs out.

“It went straight across and Mata was there to tap it in, but we responded really well to going 1-0 down and to come back in the way we did was positive.

“If you’d asked us beforehand we would probably have taken a point against Manchester United.

“In the last 15 minutes we were maybe hanging on a little bit, but for the rest of the game it was a good performance.

“We came away happy with that, especially the first half.

“When you look back, on the balance of play we might well have had the better chances, especially in the first half.”

Sunderland’s Capital One Cup campaign begins tomorrow with a second-round tie against Championship side Birmingham City at St Andrew’s.

Buckley said: “The manager has already said there won’t be that many changes, so everyone needs to be ready for Wednesday.

“Hopefully, we can put in a good performance in the cup.

“I suppose I should be used to it all, going back to a Championship ground, and I’m sure it will be a tough test.”


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