Gordon glad to be back

05 February 2009 03:22
Craig Gordon hopes to establish himself as Sunderland's number one goalkeeper once again after returning from injury.

The Scotland international has missed a large chunk of the season due to an ankle problem and Marton Fulop has impressed in his absence.

Black Cats boss Ricky Sbragia revealed earlier this week that he had warned Gordon he could no longer be guaranteed a regular starting berth.

Gordon responded by producing an excellent performance in Sunderland's FA Cup defeat to Blackburn on Wednesday and he believes he may have given Sbragia a selection dilemma.

"It was nice to be back. I've been waiting a while for that," the 26-year-old 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."

PunishedBenni McCarthy secured a 2-1 victory for Blackburn with a headed goal deep into extra time and Gordon was disappointed to concede so late.

He said: "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 OK 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."

Ready to competeSbragia accepts that he will have a difficult decision to make when Sunderland host Stoke in a crucial Premier League match on Saturday.

The manager said: "Craig had nothing to prove. 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: SKY_Sports