Lee Cattermole responds to fan anger at David Moyes, his own form and Wahbi Khazri’s spectacular Sunderland return

Sunderland's Lee Cattermole.
Sunderland's Lee Cattermole.

Lee Cattermole feels the Sunderland fans have not turned fully on David Moyes, at least not in comparison to many other managers.

The Sunderland manager’s arrival on the touchline in the 20th minute of Saturday’s home 2-2 draw against West Ham was greeted with a chorus of boos and chants of ‘we want Moyesy’ out from the South Stand.

Wahbi Khazri’s unlikely first equaliser, direct from a corner, softened the anger inside the ground.

Cattermole insisted that it was a consequence of Sunderland’s poor position and said nobody is happy with the situation.

He said: “I don’t think they’ve (the crowd) turned against the manager – not the way I’ve seen other managers being treated.

“I don’t think they’ve turned against him. Which fans are happy? Which players and managers here are happy?

“No-one is happy at the football club at the minute because of the position we’re in.

“But we’re working as hard as we can to try to get out of it, and looking at the way we performed (on Saturday) – that shows how hard we’re trying.

“We could easily have lost 2-1, but we got a point and we’ve gained a point on the other teams around us.

“We’ve got a game in hand – we just have to go to Middlesbrough and win now.”

Cattermole himself had a difficult day, booked with less than a minute on the clock after he fouled Andre Ayew, as the Ghana international prepared to shoot from the edge of the area.

That, combined, with his search for fitness, saw the Teessider substituted in the 76th minute.

Cattermole admits he is not at his best but insisted that he would play his part in Sunderland’s fight against the drop.

He said: “I’ve not had chance to think about myself and how I’m feeling.

“I’m trying to just get my head down and get on it. I feel as though there are more things to worry about in terms of how we are at the moment as a team than my own situation.

“If you look at the Leicester performance and then this performance, then, for me, they’re better.

“I’m focusing on the team and I haven’t really had chance to think about myself – I’ll do that in the summer.

“It’s tough because I know I’m not where I need to be, but I went straight to see the manager as soon as I was back in training and said I didn’t want to take the time to have reserve games or anything like that.

“I wanted to be around the squad because I feel as though I can add something.

“To be fair, the manager has played me in the last three games, and that’s three games in 10 days for me. The body feels good, and fitness and sharpness come with games. I’m just focused on the team at the moment.

“That’s as positive as I’ve felt after a game for a long time, and if we have to start with a draw, we’ll start with a draw.

“But I think you’ll definitely see us look to build on that.”

Cattermole was also thrilled to see Wahbi Khazri back to his best.

The Tunisian started his first league game since the defeat to Arsenal in October, impressing throughout, scoring a goal and proving to be a constant thorn in West Ham’s side.

Cattermole now feels his return can prove to be a catalyst for the side.

He said: “Behind the scenes, the feeling in the dressing room before the game was good. We had a couple of changes in the team, and that gave everyone a lift.

“It was nice to have Wahbi out there with us. He’s a great lad, and he’s worked really hard.

“Without taking it the wrong way, it shows it doesn’t matter what he looks like.

“I carry a bit (of weight) as well. He hasn’t played, and he’s going to get fitter, but he’s played 90-odd minutes there for the first time in a long time and that’s real credit to him.”