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Sunderland scythe Lee Cattermole seeks spot in England setup

Sunderland enforcer Lee Cattermole has extended an invitation to England boss Roy Hodgson to come to Wearside to watch him, and the rest of the Black Cats homegrown contingent, as debate continues about who should anchor the Three Lions midfield.

Gus Poyet’s side are 11/4 chances with Coral for a top 10 finish, and Cattermole is eyeing up international recognition following the decisions from Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to call time on representing their country.

“You see lads getting opportunities now and for me that has got to be a motivation,” Cattermole told the tabloid press. “In recent years, it wasn’t something for me to be too interested in because of the names that were playing – the Gerrards and the Lampards.

“But you look at the boys who have got in and who are playing well and that is something that I am trying to achieve. So yes, it has become a goal for me getting into the squad. England is going through that cycle of change right now.

“We’ve got a few English players here – Jack Rodwell, Adam Johnson, Connor Wickham and me. I’d like to think Roy Hodgson will come up [to see us play].”

Cattermole, 26, might want to be careful what he wishes for, though. Sunderland summer signing Rodwell, 23, has been part of the England setup before, earning three caps during an injury-hit career so far.

There were maiden call-ups for Cattermole’s Black Cats old teammate Jack Colback, who controversially swapped Wearside for nearby Newcastle United this summer, and Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph. Hodgson started the latter in England’s 2-0 away win in Switzerland as the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign began with three points.

Since Poyet took charge of Sunderland in October 2013, Cattermole has somewhat cleaned up his act. The combative player nicknamed ‘Clattermole’ has picked up just eight bookings and been sent off once during the Uruguayan’s 44 games in charge of the Black Cats to date.

“Gus Poyet sides have a big role for the defensive midfielder,” continued Cattermole. “Since the manager has come in I have adapted my game to what he wants and that is pure and simple, a defensive midfielder. I have learnt an unbelievable amount since he came here.”

Sunderland are relative outsiders at 9/2 for relegation during Poyet’s second season in charge, after he saved them from the drop last term.