Sunderland skipper Lee Cattermole is backing manager Martin O'Neill to stamp his mark on the club in his first full season in charge.

The Ulsterman and his players returned to work on Wednesday with O'Neill having completed the first part of his mission during the second half of last season by easing the Black Cats clear of relegation battle. He will now seek to fulfil owner and chairman Ellis Short's ambition to establish the club as regulars in the top half of the Barclays Premier League.

Cattermole told the Northern Echo: "This season is Martin's main season. He has had time to prepare for the summer, I'm sure he will bring some more players in. He will really want to stamp his authority on the side and it's a really exciting year. Hopefully it will go well - I'm sure it will."

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