For a player who burst into tears in front of the television cameras after his side had been thrashed at home, Lee Cattermole has got tough. Too tough for the liking of Steve Bruce, who has threatened to strip Cattermole of the Sunderland captaincy following the 22-year-old midfielder's fifth red card in two years.
Sent off after just 43 minutes against Birmingham on the opening day of the season, Cattermole lasted just 22 minutes against his former club Wigan at the DW Stadium on Saturday before his was given his marching orders by Andre Marriner for two bookable offences. His over enthusiasm to do well on his return has placed a question mark over his temperament.
Although he can feel aggrieved to have been shown a yellow card for his early challenge on Mohamed Diame, his foul on Hugo Rodallega a few minutes later was nothing short of reckless and Bruce admitted he may now have to teach Cattermole, who misses the next two games against Arsenal in the league and West Ham in the Carling Cup, a lesson.
"I made a big decision in the summer to give him the captaincy and I will review it in the next week or so," said Bruce of the player who famously cried on the pitch after Middlesbrough's 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa in 2006. "It might be the responsibility is too much. There is an extra responsibility for players when they come back to their old clubs. Lee has got to learn quickly and he ain't – that's the frustrating thing. He could have half his career frittered away with suspensions."
Cattermole's latest sending-off left Wigan with more than a hour to take advantage yet it required a late equaliser from Antolin Alcaraz, the Paraguay defender, to salvage a point for the hosts after Asamoah Gyan's exquisite finish had the 10 men of Sunderland within sight of a rare away win.
Gyan, the club record £13m signing from Rennes, started the match on the bench after flying back from representing Ghana, but he is certain to begin against Arsenal at the weekend.
Wigan 4-5-1: Al Habsi; Boyce, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Stam (N'Zogbia 52), McCarthy, Diame, Thomas (Di Santo 52), Rodallega; Boselli (Cleverley 76). Substitutes not used Kirkland (gk), Watson, Caldwell, Gomez.
Sunderland 4-5-1: Mignolet; Onouha, Bramble, Ferdinand, Richardson (Mensah 79); El Mohamady (Riveros 32), Malbranque, Henderson, Cattermole, Welbeck (Gyan 46); Bent. Substitutes not used Carson (gk), Bardsley, Zenden, Colback.
Booked Wigan Boyce, Thomas, Diame Sunderland Welbeck Sent off Cattermole
Man of the match Bramble.
Possession Wigan 40% Sunderland 60%.
Shots on target Wigan 4, Sunderland 2.
Referee A Marriner (W Midlands).......... Attendance 15,484. Match rating 7/10.Reuse content