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Ref Marriner influenced Sunderland team selection

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet left Lee Cattermole out of his squad to face Arsenal because Andre Marriner was refereeing the game. Cattermole was controversially red-carded at Hull City by Marriner earlier this season, and Poyet did not want to risk the former Middlesbrough midfielder ahead of the League Cup final.

"Unfortunately for me, it (Cattermole) was the only decision I could control," Poyet revealed.

"I don't want to say something to get me fined but for me the referee was one who normally sends Lee Cattermole off.

"Add that to the fact we were away to Arsenal. I am sure if we were to go two or three goals down, Lee is not the sort of player to have in the middle. I made a mistake in the press conference - if there is one player starting next week, it is Lee Cattermole. The rest at the moment are substitutes."

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Dave Williams

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