Craig Gordon on a mission to be Sunderland's number one goalkeeper

05 February 2009 05:43
The Scotland international pressed his claim for a re-call to frontline duties with an impressive display in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Blackburn following a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury.

Now the 26-year-old is hoping to force his way past Hungarian Marton Fulop and get back into manager Ricky Sbragia's first choice side that will be on Premier League duty on Saturday when Stoke City head to the Stadium of Light.

"It was nice to be back – I've been waiting a while for that," Gordon told the Sunderland Echo

.

"I had a few saves to make, but that was always going to be the case going to a difficult place like Blackburn.

"Hopefully I can get a run in the team now. That's up to the manager. He's got a decision to make – " that is what he gets paid for.

"All we can do is our best and then it's up to the manager. Marton has done a good job in recent weeks, but it was nice to get back into the side and show what I am capable of."

Gordon, who became the club's record signing when he moved from Hearts 18 months ago in a £9 million deal, is relieved to have come through the gruelling tie at Blackburn unscathed following an ankle injury.

He continued: "I thought we had done enough to hold out for penalties and then we'd take our luck. We switched off for a second and got punished.

"I felt okay in the game. Playing 120 minutes in your first game back is probably not ideal. I know I didn't have to run about, but it is mentally tiring.

"It has been an annoying injury. Nothing serious, but I could not do a lot because of it - " I had to take my time, rest and recuperate. I have been excited for the last few days because I knew I was playing and I had a smile on my face again.

"Every player wants a game to look forward to after his training and it's been a while since I had that." Sbragia believes Gordon has shown he is ready to fight for his place.

"Craig had nothing to prove," Sbragia added. "He just wants to get match fit and he made some good saves that kept us in the game. He knows Marton has done well and I think he showed that he is ready to compete.

"He made some excellent saves but might feel that he could have done a bit better for the second goal and forced the issue a bit.

"Overall, it was a great return to the side and great that he's got 120 minutes under his belt."

Source: Telegraph