Sunderland's Lee Cattermole: I cannot say say we will not be relegated and I understand fans' fears

Skipper afraid of the drop after Black Cats' awful run of form sees them slip from sixth to 15th, with just five games remaining to guarantee the club's top-flight status

Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole has revealed he fears relegation after a poor run of form.

The 2-0 defeat to Birmingham on Saturday means the Black Cats have taken just one point from a possible 27.

The loss saw Steve Bruce’s slump to 15th in the table, just five points off Blackpool in the relegation zone, and the tough-tackling 23-year-old midfielder has admitted there can be no guarantee of the club's safety.

He told reporters: "I can understand why the fans are getting nervous. I can't say we won't get relegated, you never know.

"But we have to produce the goods to make sure that doesn't happen."

At the turn of the year the Wearsiders were sixth in the table, but since the sale of star forward Darren Bent goals and points have dried up, with injuries hitting the strike department and Asamoah Gyan's form tailing off.

Cattermole is saddened that the club have gone from challengers for Europe to relegation candidates over the last four months.

"It's a shame the way the season has gone," he said. "We had high hopes and people were talking about Europe, but injuries and disruptions in January have made it hard for us.

"But we can still finish on a high. There's five games left and who's to say we can't get four wins?"

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