Lee Cattermole delivers warning to Sunderland team-mates after Shrewsbury draw
Lee Cattermole has warned his Sunderland team-mates they need to keep their 'feet firmly on the ground' following his side's 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury.
Josh Maja rescued a point for the Black Cats after the 20-year-old striker cancelled out Luke Waterfall's opener at the Stadium of Light.
Jack Ross' side missed the chance to close the gap on second-place Luton in League One, after the Hatters were held to a 2-2 draw at Walsall.
But Cattermole still believes the draw with Shrewsbury, who sat 18th in the table before kick-off, should be viewed as a point gained, rather than two points dropped.
"It's got to be a point gained, we've got to be positive about it," Cattermole told safc.com.
"There'll be more draws through the season, I think we've come a long way so far and it shows that we're quite disappointed drawing at home.
"They sat in, they made it difficult for us and we chucked everything at them second half but the ball just didn't drop for us today.
"We've picked four points up in a few days and it's points gained towards the end total which we want to get to try and get promoted."
Cattermole admitted his side started slowly against the Shrews, which allowed Waterfall to open the scoring with a header in the 30th minute.
But the midfielder was happy with the way his side responded, and felt they did everything they could to try and win the game.
"We didn't start the game particularly well," added Cattermole.
"We had such a big buzz on Boxing Day and it's a tough time of the year to keep rattling games out.
"There's no excuses though, we came here and didn't start the game particularly well but we got going and managed to equalise with a great goal.
"Second half we couldn't do anymore to win the game, anyone who's at the game, you look at the amount of chances, amount of possession we had, we chucked everything at them.
"Second half there's no complaints, yeah we didn't start the game particularly well but I thought we had our best period of the game when they scored from a free-kick.
"It's a sloppy goal from a free-kick to concede but other than that I think we were very comfortable in the game."
Sunderland are still third in the table but are now seven points adrift of league leaders Portsmouth, while Luton remain four points ahead of the Black Cats.
The Wearsiders do have two games in hand on both of them though, with half of the season still to play.
Cattermole was keen to focus on the positives after the Shrewsbury result but knows his side can't get carried away.
"It's all been positive, it's been a great turnaround for the club and we're heading in the right direction," said Cattermole.
"Let's stay positive, let's keep going, let's not get ahead of ourselves, that's important.
"It's too easy to think we should be winning the league, there's no given right for us to think we should be winning the league.
"If you go through our careers everyone's at different stages, we're a new team, new manager and we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground because it's going to be a long second half of the season.
"I'm confident what we've got in the dressing room, if we keep our mentality strong, if we stay positive, I think we'll be able to go all the way."