Sunderland's Gardner: We can't hang Cattermole out to dry

Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner has defended skipper Lee Cattermole after his dismissal in their Capital One Cup win over MK Dons.

Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner has defended skipper Lee Cattermole after his dismissal in their Capital One Cup win over MK Dons.

The 24-year-old was dismissed for an ugly lunge at defender Adam Chicksen after losing control of the ball during the first half of the 2-0 Capital One Cup third-round victory at MK Dons.

Gardner told the Sunderland Echo: "I feel sorry for Catts because he's been brilliant all season. His attitude in training and on the pitch is spot on. He's a true leader and I just feel sorry for him.

"He's the last person in the world who wants to get sent off. He was rock-bottom in the dressing room afterwards and everyone was trying to pick him up.

"Hopefully we will get him back in the team. From where I was standing at right-back, it didn't look too bad. But I could be wrong. He was the other side of the pitch.

"We have got to get behind him and lift him up."

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