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Checkatrade Trophy

Cattermole: A final for the ages

30 March 2019

Lee Cattermole is no stranger to the excitement and pressure of Wembley Stadium, and is hoping Sunday's Checkatrade Trophy Final will be "one we're talking about for years to come."

Cattermole and Sunderland face fellow Sky Bet League One side Portsmouth under the arch this weekend, in a match which is expected to be the best-attended in the history of the competition.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the showpiece clash, the experienced midfielder says he's looking forward to what promises to be a fantastic occasion.

"We’ve worked hard as a club, so to win on Sunday would be the icing on the cake," he said. "We want to do it for the supporters and everyone at this football club; it will be a big game between two good football teams, it’s one we’re looking forward to.

"Everyone is saying it will be a good day out and one to enjoy, but I believe we’ll only do that if we win the game. Hopefully this is a game we’ll be talking about for years to come. The atmosphere is going to be electric.

"I think what we’re getting on Sunday is a reward for what we did at the start of the season. Starting with a new manager and new ownership, we’ve worked really hard, and I think this is our reward for that."

Cattermole is a leading figure in the Black Cats' dressing room and says that, after some difficult moments in recent years, reaching the Final has been part of the rebuilding process.

Sunderland have really caught the eye in this year's competition, conceding just one goal on the road to Wembley, and the 31-year-old echoed the Checkatrade Trophy's key message, that Every Game Matters.

"For us as a club, and for someone who’s been here as long as I have, it’s been about rebuilding and reconnecting with the fans," he added. "We’ve done that very well all season, we’ve had massive attendances and there’s a great feeling around the place. Anything we can do to keep building, that’s exactly what we want to do.

"We’re really respected the competition this season. We’ve played over 10 games and have had tough trips, so it’s been really difficult but we’ve treated every game in exactly the same way. Hopefully on Sunday we’ll get our rewards by going on to win the Final."


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