Bramble blames Catt absence

Titus Bramble says the absence of Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole has hindered his side's chances of continuing their rise up the table.

Cattermole's season has been dogged by a knee complaint which forced him off in the home defeat to Arsenal, but he hopes to be passed fit for the weekend trip to West Bromwich Albion.

Bramble told the Sunderland Echo: "Lee is someone that we've really missed. He's the captain and he can be a very influential player when he gets a run in the side.

"He's been a big miss over the last few months because he's a leader with this great will to win."