Lee Cattermole names the thing that really hurt him at Sunderland

Lee Cattermole

The 28-year-old admits to developing strong feelings for the Black Cats

Sunderland's Younes Kaboul and Lee Cattermole look dejectedCattermole helped Sunderland achieve yet another great escape this season

Despite growing up a Middlesbrough fan, Lee Cattermole has admitted he's developed strong feelings for current club Sunderland, the Chronicle reports.

Cattermole left Boro for Wigan Athletic in 2008, but returned to his native North East with the Mackems the following summer, along with his former Latics boss Steve Bruce.

Seven years and early 200 appearances later, the 28-year-old is very much an adopted Black Cat.

Such a relationship can bring negative side effects, however - something Cattermole knows all too well.

"The more time you spend at a club, you get more amongst it don’t you?" The tough-tackling midfielder said, as quoted by the Chronicle.

"The thing that killed me was when Brucey was sacked (in 2011). That really hurt me.

Hull City manager Steve BruceNow the Hull City manager, Bruce will return to face Sunderland next season

"I always thought, 'I'm not ever going to be involved in something like that again'. (But) even though I have been, I’ve never been involved to a point where I thought I could take the blame.

"I felt that under (Martin) O’Neill I did everything I could have done, and the same with Gus (Poyet). Dick (Advocaat) was obviously a different situation."

Cattermole signed a new long-term contract at the Stadium of Light last summer, taking him through until 2021 and the age of 33.

Arsenal's Theo Walcott in action with Sunderland's Lee CattermoleCattermole has captained the Black Cats on numerous occasions

And, being onto his sixth permanent Sunderland manager already, he could be in double figures by then.

The current incumbent, Sam Allardyce, took over from Advocaat in October, with the Black Cats having taken three points from their opening eight fixtures, and led them to safety at the expense of local rivals Newcastle United.

The 61-year-old, who used to manage the Magpies, agreed a deal until 2017 on Wearside.

Sunderland manager Sam AllardyceAllardyce is permanent boss number 6 for Cattermole at Sunderland

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