Lee Cattermole admits struggling at first under Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce

Lee Cattermole has been in excellent form for Sunderland over the past three matches.

Lee Cattermole has told the Chronicle that when Sam Allardyce first took over he simply wasn’t fit enough to make an impression.

Cattermole has been deployed as a box-to-box midfielder by Allardyce since he took charge, and he has taken a while to adjust to the new role.

The 28-year-old had been playing as a shielder, but he has been required to do much more running in his new position.

And Cattermole admits that, at first, he found the requirements of the role tough to cope with.

“When the gaffer came and played me there, I thought, ‘I’m going to have to get fitter because I’m not fit enough to play how he wants me to,’” said Cattermole.

“I feel it’s coming though. I’ve been working hard in training, and I had a couple of behind-closed-doors games that I really enjoyed.

“I managed to get back in, and I just want to push on now. That’s important for the team.”

Cattermole actually fell out of favour earlier on in the season, but he has returned for Sunderland’s last three matches and been hugely impressive.

Cattermole has taken over from Jack Rodwell in Allardyce’s starting line-up, and he has now secured his place in the team.

The combative midfielder was arguably man of the match in Sunderland’s most recent outing, which they won 3-0 against Norwich City.

Cattermole will now be looking to continue to play an important role of role for the Wearsiders for the rest of the season, as the Black Cats aim to avoid the drop.

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