LEE Cattermole insists confidence has been restored at Sunderland to such an extent that the belief now exists among Martin O’Neill’s squad that they can beat “anyone” on their day.
The Black Cats brought to an end a seven-game sequence without victory with Sunday’s 3-1 win at Fulham.
That was “massive”, said Cattermole, providing a “big lift” to all invested in the club and with successive home games against West Brom and QPR over the next five days, the Sunderland captain has challenged his team-mates to sustain recent improvement over a “crucial” next month.
“It was a game we had to win, and a massive result in the end,” said Cattermole, of victory at Craven Cottage.
“It’s a massive three points for us, not only for the players but for the whole city, for the staff and everybody around the place. It gives everybody such a big lift.
“In the last couple of weeks our performances have been getting better and better. As a team we didn’t really think about it (not winning games) too much but people are putting stats out there, one win in 18 and all that. We forgot about last season, that’s behind us now.
“I think when we’re doing interviews we keep getting reminded of these records. But what we’re thinking about this season is that we haven’t done too badly at all.
“We’ve just gone about our business, and kept working. We don’t need to come out and say that we’ve been playing so many away games. We’ve got four out of the next five at home so it’s hopefully turning in our favour a little bit.
“We’ve just got to go and perform now. We’re at home, we’ll
do that. We’ve got a great crowd here, and we’ll just keep working, and taking each game one at a time.
“We had a great win at Fulham, now we’ve got two home games and this next month’s crucial.”
The first of that pair of home encounters brings West Brom to Wearside, fresh from slaying Chelsea.
And speaking to Sunderland’s official website, Cattermole has warned his side not to take the Baggies lightly, to be patient and seek the win that can “set us off again”.
“We know there’s no easy games, West Brom are going to come here full of confidence after beating Chelsea,” he said. “West Brom are a physical team. They’re powerful up front and definitely have goals in the team, so we know we’ll have to be on our guard.
“But we have to be patient. There’s no rush, we don’t have to win it in the first five minutes. We can take our time in the game and if we can get a win there it’ll just set us off again.
“I think we believe that if we’re on our game, on any day we can beat anyone.
“We’ve created chances in the last couple of games. There’s no doubting the lads’ abilities, they’re great players. Just sometimes, if you find one or two are off it takes time to get their confidence back.
“It’s tough when you lose your confidence. You’ve just got to keep working and believing in what you’re good at.“