Sunderland boss Steve Bruce revealed Lee Cattermole was "inconsolable" after his sending-off in the 1-1 draw at Wigan but stressed that the midfielder needs to start showing that he is learning from the error of his ways.
Cattermole, making his first return to the DW Stadium since leaving the Latics for Wearside in 2009, was dismissed for the second time in three Barclays Premier League games after being booked twice in quick succession midway through the opening period for fouls on Mohamed Diame and Hugo Rodallega.
"The one thing he has got to learn is that once you have got a yellow card, you simply can't go to ground. He has made a genuine attempt for the ball, he has mis-timed it and he has got to learn that," said Bruce.
"I've got no excuses for him. It was two yellow cards, simple as that.
"It has happened twice in a month which is not healthy, not for him or the team. He has to learn from it and we will be having conversations with him.
"He is inconsolable and he knows, but it's when he's out there that he has got to know."
Despite the loss of Cattermole, Sunderland took the lead in the 66th minute through debutant Asamoah Gyan's strike before a late header from Antolin Alcaraz salvaged a draw for Wigan.
Ghana forward Gyan, the Black Cats' record signing, converted Jordan Henderson's cross after replacing Danny Welbeck at the interval to mark a first appearance Bruce was more than satisfied with.
"You can tell he has been on planes and all over the world, waiting in passport offices and all that and that is why we didn't start him," Bruce said.
"So he needs a bit of work, but he has got a great attitude for it and he'll be fine. He's made a wonderful start which obviously will help him - to get a goal on your debut is terrific. It's just a shame we didn't hang on to win it."
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