Lee Cattermole admits Sunderland lack confidence but hails 'brave' players

Lee Cattermole goes close to scoring against Derby.
Lee Cattermole goes close to scoring against Derby.

Sunderland skipper Lee Cattermole hailed 'brave' team-mates for overcoming a lack of confidence against Derby County.

Sunderland fought back from an early setback to grab a 1-1 draw in their season-opener on Friday night.

It continued their run of not having won a league game in August since 2010 and means the club have now only won twice in their last 24 competitive matches.

After relegation last season, and the turmoil of a summer which saw some heavy defeats, an aborted takeover attempt and managerial uncertainty, going a goal down after just 12 minutes was the last thing the club needed.

But Cattermole was delighted with the response of his team-mates.

"I thought we started well and conceded against the run of play," he told Sky Sports News.

"It's not easy when you've been relegated and the lads are lacking confidence. I thought the lads were brave.

"Derby controlled a lot of the second half so a draw was probably a fair result."

Cattermole was man of the match for many watchers with an all-action midfield display, even going close to scoring on two occasions, and his former team-mate Wes Brown, a pundit at the game, praised the experienced Teessider's performance.

“They started the game very well - Lee (Cattermole) in particular,” Brown said. “He was a very good captain, he put all the passion into it and it rubs off on the players.

“They (Sunderland) started well and had a goal against the run of play against them.

“They managed to get back into it and kept on going. They did get a little bit tired but they didn’t stop.

“I think Lee was the best example of that."