The 26-year-old is playing a key role for the Black Cats once again this season, and he is hopeful of finding the form required to impress Roy Hodgson following the retirements of two fellow midfielders.
"There was never any disappointment. But now, you see the lads getting opportunities and for me, that has got to be a motivation. So yes it has become a goal getting into that squad.
"England is going through a cycle of change right now so not only is it a great chance for the lads who are in there now, but also those who are looking to break in - players like Tom Huddlestone, Mark Noble and myself."
Cattermole represented England at every youth level in the early stages of his career.