Their last eight fixtures have produced just one win alongside five defeats, meaning they have slipped back into mid-table.
Cattermole, who returned to action following a lengthy lay-off against Aston Villa on Tuesday, admits Sunderland's hard work could ultimately count for nothing if they are unable to establish some consistency.
"We're in a tricky situation where it could go either way for us," Cattermole told the Sunderland Echo.
"I think quite a lot has been made of me missing games and that we have not won as many games, but we have had some tough games. I will do my best now I'm back to help the team get back on track.
"Hopefully we can keep things tight at Man City on Saturday and come away with something.
"We need to get back to winning ways and become more solid and harder to beat."