Lee Cattermole

Skipper ready for opener

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Emirates trip's great for skipper.

Lee Cattermole can’t wait to get stuck into the challenge of facing Arsenal in North London on Saturday.

The Sunderland skipper has a full pre-season under his belt and is raring to go as he enters his fourth campaign at the Stadium of Light.

We’ve just got to go down there and give it our best shot, play as a team, work hard and see where we go with it

- Cattermole on Arsenal test

“We haven’t had a great pre-season but I don’t think you can read into that,” Cattermole said.

“I watched Sheffield Wednesday the other night and their manager was saying how well they did in pre-season but it was the worst 45 minutes they’d played in the first half.

“So I don’t think you can read too much into that, we’ve just got to keep going and try to get off to a winning start on Saturday.”

The Gunners have been active in the transfer market over the summer to bolster a squad which finished third in the Barclays Premier League last season.

“The start against Arsenal is great, we’ve got nothing to lose and I’m sure the fans will travel down in numbers and it will be a great day out for everybody,” Cattermole added.

"We’ve just got to go down there and give it our best shot, play as a team, work hard and see where we go with it.”

Martin O’Neill has already faced the Gunners twice as Sunderland manager, winning once and losing once.

Both contests were tight, while Cattermole remembers the third game – a 2-1 defeat at the Emirates early in the campaign – for rather painful reasons!

“We gave Arsenal two good games last season, especially up here where I thought we played well against them, although down there I missed a header from about a yard out!” he said.

“We always do well against the big sides.

“I’m sure we’ll have a game plan going into the game and we’ll see if we can stop them playing, and hopefully we’ll put a bit of our game onto them.”