Lee Cattermole doesn’t look the brightest and after giving his latest thoughts on the ‘Beautiful’ game, he sounds it as well.

The Sunderland midfielder says that he prefers playing at St James Park as opposed to the Stadium of Light, due to the ‘hatred’ that he feels as soon as he arrives at Newcastle’s stadium.

Lee Cattermole has led a charmed life in many of the derby games and has somehow only managed to get himself sent off once, back in March 2012, the match ending 1-1 when Shola Ameobi equalised in injury time.

The matches have been at their most fractious when Cheick Tiote has faced up with Lee Cattermole, though the Ivory Coast midfielder will be missing through injury this time.

Cattermole is predictably gloating about the six game run the mackems are currently on – but surely the fact that Sunderland rely on such average players as him, confirms the fact that the last few years has been more about the feeble nature of the Newcastle team in terms of both ability and attitude, rather than perennial relegation candidates Sunderland, being any good.

A massive day of destiny for Rafa Benitez on Sunday and especially the players in black and white who have let us down so often.

Time for change.

Lee Cattermole speaking to the official Sunderland website:

‘Every derby is big but given the league position of both clubs and the importance of staying in the Premier League, particularly this year, it makes this a massive game and one that will be great to be a part of.

As players we try to switch off from the hype and we have trained really well over the last couple of weeks, whilst also playing a friendly game against Livingston so there has been a great intensity to our preparation.

That said, as the week goes on and the game gets closer you become more aware of the buzz and just how big this game is.

We’ve had immense success in recent years so we will approach the game how we have done the rest and hopefully put in the type of performance that allows us to keep this run going.

I’ve been on a team that has lost this fixture so we have to focus on ourselves and build on what have been largely positive performances since the turn of the year, but we have great experience in the derby and the new lads can draw on that ahead of the game.

Personally it is a game I prefer to play at St James’ because you are in enemy territory and the hatred and intensity you feel from the moment you arrive gives you a real buzz.

We will go into the game and enjoy it and we will do everything we can to return to Wearside with three points.

It won’t be easy but psychologically we will be better equipped for this game.

The momentum we have in this fixture is important but we won’t let up and we are desperate to make it seven.’

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