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Sunderland captain Cattermole: O'Neill says I've heart of lion

Sunderland skipper Lee Cattermole has lifted the lid on what manager Martin O'Neill said to him after victory over Manchester City.

Cattermole was tipped to lose the captaincy, especially after getting in trouble with the police over an alleged car wrecking spree within days of O'Neill's arrival.

The 23-year-old, however, hit it off with his new gaffer and soon rediscovered his top form, which had ­deserted him for much of the ­season.

But his man-of-the-match display in the New Year's Day win over Manchester City had painful results for Cattermole when his boss raced on to embrace him at the final whistle.

"He gave me the tightest headlock ever," said the combative midfielder.

"I was shattered, trying to get my breath back. He just said, 'Well done, absolutely brilliant. You've got a heart like a lion'.

"He was happy with me and we all know what ­happened in the first week, when I didn't get off on the right foot. But he has been brilliant."

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Tribal Football Staff

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