Andrew Cartwright

Cartwright happy to be involved

by Ashley Houghton

Youngster relishing play-off push following injury.

Youngster Andrew Cartwright feels the club's U18 side are capable of producing the goods when they face Fulham in the semi-final of the Barclays U18 Premier League play-offs tonight.

Cartwright, who has played 12 times for the young Black Cats this season, told that a repeat of the side’s performances against Liverpool and Aston Villa in recent weeks will go a long way towards helping get a result in the capital this evening.

“It’s nice to help the lads, play well, win games and get into the playoffs – hopefully we’ll go on and win it,” Cartwright said.

“We knew we had a couple of weeks left of our season when we turned up to play against Liverpool and we knew that we needed to win to keep our season going.

“Obviously all the lads want to be playing so when we won we were happy, and obviously the same against Aston Villa – we managed to do that again and hopefully we can do the same against Fulham.”

Cartwright returned to the side for the recent 2-0 win over Liverpool after nearly four months on the sidelines with an injury.

And the midfielder is happy to be back in the fold for the biggest game of Sunderland’s campaign to date.

“It was hard because when I got injured I wasn’t doing anything at all,” he added.

“I couldn’t do anything so getting my fitness back was hard, but the staff were great.

“I’ve come back in and played games and that’s the only way I’m going to get properly fit, so hopefully I’m back as fit as I can be now.”

The youngster, whose father Peter was a professional footballer, has been deployed at right-back as well as in a 'number 10' role in recent weeks.

And he says he’s delighted to be involved, whether in defence or midfield.

“If I’m playing I’m as happy as I can be – playing the number 10 [role] against Liverpool, we felt that their holding midfielder was very good so I just tried to latch on to him and not let him play,” Cartwright explained.

“When I played right-back for the U21s it was because I played there quite a lot last year.

“I don’t mind where I play - as long as I play, I’m happy.”