Captain Cattermole heaps praise on O'Neill

 

The Sunderland captain, Lee Cattermole, yesterday credited the club's new manager, Martin O'Neill, with restoring confidence there. The Black Cats will head into Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round match against the 23-year-old midfielder's former team, Middlesbrough, having lost just two of the nine games they have played under the Ulsterman since he replaced Steve Bruce at the helm.

The Teesside-born Cattermole admits he was devastated to see Bruce, who signed him for both Wigan Athletic and Sunderland, shown the door, but has been delighted with the impact O'Neill has made since.

He said: "It's the first time I have had a manager [who has] been sacked, and I was devastated for Steve and absolutely gutted for him. But a new voice has come in and straight away, you just want to impress and that's what you do.

"But just winning games as well, people automatically start to say you are playing better. We are just winning games. It is not necessarily everyone is playing better, it's winning games. The confidence is there and it's great. We have been flying. We have had a great start, it couldn't have gone any better under the new manager. We are playing well, we just need to keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard and not get too carried away."

Cattermole will do well to contain his excitement about this weekend's fixture after the draw for the fourth round pitched him into battle with the club he, his family and friends have supported all their lives. The midfield enforcer made his name at the Riverside Stadium under the then manager Steve McClaren. And it was McClaren who handed him his full debut as a 17-year-old in the heat of a derby trip to Newcastle United in January 2006.

Six years on, he will lead the Black Cats into battle with the Teessiders, but with little room for sentiment as he and his team-mates set their sights on FA Cup glory.

Asked if they could reach the latter stages of the competition, Cattermole said: "Yes, definitely, that's our aim, that's what we are in it for.

"We want to try to win every game and if we can go on a good Cup run... The semi-finals are at Wembley, but we don't get anything unless we win it, so we just want to do the best we can. We need to have a good Cup run. It's my third season here now and we haven't got past the first couple of rounds, so it would be nice for everyone. It's going to be tough for us. Boro have been doing well – I know they have had a couple of bad results in the past few weeks, but they are a good side, so we are going to have to approach it right."

Meanwhile, Sunderland have joined forces with Africa's largest independent oil company, Tullow Oil, to launch a pioneering social and business development scheme.

The Invest in Africa initiative, which was unveiled in Accra, Ghana, yesterday, will seek to stimulate and sustain long-term economic growth across the continent and, in turn, develop the skills of the workforce, boost domestic job markets and help to build and develop local capacity.

Niall Quinn, who travelled to Ghana in his role as the club's director of international development, said: "We are genuinely excited about this ground-breaking opportunity to bring Sunderland into new territories.

"The global appeal of the Premier League is something that we can harness as a powerful tool for change through our innovative partnership with Invest in Africa. Africa's passion for football is both heart-warming and inspirational and, as a football club with community, people and international aspirations firmly at its core, there is a natural synergy between us and this wonderful continent.

"We look forward to growing and developing the partnership in the coming months."

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
Pepper, the 3ft 11in shiny box of circuits who can tell jokes and respond to human emotions
techDavid McNeill tests the mettle of one of the new generation of androids being developed in Tokyo
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice