Red card for Sunderland skipper Cattermole angers O’Neill

Martin O’Neill has refused to support Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole after the midfielder was shown a red card for the fifth time in his Black Cats career, the BBC has reported. Cattermole was dismissed during Sunderland’s Capital One Cup tie at MK Dons on Tuesday.

Sunderland went on to win the match thanks to a goal each from James McClean and Craig Gardner but Cattermole’s red card, for a challenge described as “reckless” by the BBC soured the evening.

While the manager admitted he had been pleased with Cattermole’s early season form, he criticised the player for failing to show the kind of leadership required of the captain of the side. O’Neill said: “He started the season off brightly for us and he’s a great leader – but he has to have discipline himself. There is no point asking for discipline from the team when you don’t show it yourself.

The former Aston Villa manager offered no defence for Cattermole, remarking that as soon as you lunge into a tackle in the way Cattermole had you can only expect a red card to follow. O’Neill confirmed that, as he saw it, the referee had no option but to send off the 24-year-old.

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