Cattermole made his first Premier League start since September during Tuesday night's match with champions Leicester City at the King Power Stadium but was unable to prevent David Moyes's side from falling to their 20th defeat of the season.
The Black Cats' survival hopes look bleak with eight points separating them from safety and only eight games of the campaign remaining, but Cattermole issued a rallying call to his teammates in a final attempt to avoid their likely fate.
"It looks very tough but you don't become a footballer by shying away from things. Everyone has that drive, we need to look forward to Sunday, get ourselves going and show how much we care about the position we're in," he told the club's official website.
"We've got another game on Sunday, we have to show some pride, stand up and find out what we're all about. We can't make any excuses, I thought we were bang at it and we played well at the champions. We felt we were the better team but we're walking away with nothing.
"I felt fine, I've felt great in the last couple of weeks. It's tough coming back in the position we're in but I'll rise to it and give my best."
Sunderland, who have failed to even score in their last six Premier League games, will host Manchester United at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.