Kamis, 25 Oktober 2012

O'Neill: Cattermole needs to learn

Cattermole: Sent off seven times

The 24-year-old midfielder has spent the last month kicking his heels after being sent off for the seventh time in his senior career in the 2-0 Capital One Cup victory at MK Dons on September 25.

As a result, he has missed the Premier League fixtures against former club Wigan, Manchester City and Newcastle at a time when the Black Cats have struggled to find their best form.

He will be back in the fold for Saturday's difficult trip to Stoke with O'Neill happy to see him return, but rapidly losing patience with his captain's ability to incur the wrath of match officials.

Asked if Cattermole had been chastened by his latest spell on the sidelines, the manager replied: "You would naturally hope so.

"It's time out and you sit and watch games from the stand and feel as if you want to be involved, and you realise that you should be.

"I would like to think that maybe he would have learned a lesson - but it's happened to him before and he h as come back. I am hoping he can do because he's very important to us.

"Over those three games we missed what he gives us, which is that bit of extra drive, and as a captain he is very good, he is very good indeed.

"It really will be up to him as much as anything."

Cattermole's dismissal for an ugly lunge at MK Dons defender Adam Chicksen was his second since O'Neill's arrival on Wearside, with the first coming after the final whistle in last season's derby draw at Newcastle when he was red-carded after collecting a second booking for comments he made to referee Mike Dean.

The Sunderland boss has spoken repeatedly to him about his disciplinary problems, and while he continues to admire him as a player, he knows the former Middlesbrough man has to clean up his act.

O'Neill said: "We don't have a conversation every single day about it, but we talked at the time he was out.

"Obviously he was disappointed, but not half as disappointed as we were to know that he was missing from the games and through his own fault.

"Now if it had been something that we had been able to have looked at, and thought there were mitigating circumstances or something like that, then perhaps it might have been a different issue, but no.

"And yet the previous time he was sent off he was booked in the first couple of minutes of the game against Newcastle, but had a great game all together and was able to show that discipline, which was very, very important, particularly in that game.

"Then to come off at the end of the game and find out when I arrived in the dressing room that he had survived all of that and got himself sent off for speaking to the referee..."

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