March 12, 2015 18:18:06 UK
Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon says that midfielder Lee Cattermole’s suspension this weekend will not affect the team’s chances of pulling away from trouble towards the bottom of the Premier League table.
Cattermole has been an important part of Gus Poyet’s side this season but picked up his 10th yellow card of the season in the Black Cats last game, a draw away at Hull and therefore he starts a two-game ban, beginning with this weekend’s vital fixture at home to Aston Villa.
It’s important, especially at home, because you want always to take the three points when you are at home.
However, Pantilimon does not believe the team will suffer for his absence. He said: “Lee is a good player, a good lad and a good team-mate. He is aggressive and he fights all the time for the team, and he has great spirit.
“He is a very important part of our team, but midfield players will pick up bans and we have to cope with that and make sure we can carry on. This is the situation we have and we will have to adapt without him for the next two games.”
Saturday’s clash with Villa is especially important given the league positions of the two sides. Sunderland sit 16th, four points clear of the bottom three but just a place and a point ahead of Villa.
Having missed out on the chance to pull clear following games with fellow strugglers QPR, West Brom and Hull, Pantilimon wants to see those relegation fears eased on Saturday, adding: “It’s important, especially at home, because you want always to take the three points when you are at home. This is the moment for us to do that.”
Sunderland are 2.30 to win on Saturday, Villa are priced at 3.40 and the draw is 3.10.
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