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Gordon wants the season to carry on
Published : 26 Mar 2010 09:16:15
WHILE most of his teammates begin to turn their attention to a summer break on the beach, Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon has admitted he does not want the season to end. Having been sidelined for almost two months after breaking his arm at Tottenham in early November, Gordon is hitting top form just as the campaign begins to draw to a close. The Scotland international made a string of sensational saves during last weekend's 3- 1 win over Birmingham, and was at it again on Wednesday night as the Black Cats held Champions League hopefuls Aston Villa to a 1-1 draw at Villa Park. Gordon has endured something of a stop-start existence since making a then clubrecord £9m move from Hearts in 2007, but as he prepares for a summer hiatus with his national side having failed to qualify for the World Cup finals, the 27-year-old is wishing the current campaign could be extended by a couple of months. It doesn't feel like it's getting towards the end of the season for me, said Gordon. There was a big gap in the middle when I was out with my broken arm, so I still feel really fresh even though it's getting towards the summer. I don't feel like I need a break, I could keep going. Another couple of months on the end of the season wouldn't bother me at all. Hopefully, I can still end up with 30 games for the season though, which would be quite good considering what happened to me in the middle of it. Gordon's injury gave Marton Fulop an opportunity to enjoy an extended run in the first team, but with Steve Bruce having confirmed he will allow the Hungarian to leave in the summer, the Scot has cemented his status as Sunderland's number one. He is living up to the reputation that accompanied him when he moved to Wearside three years ago, and is feeling the benefit of being fully fit again following a difficult recovery from the injury he sustained in a collision with Spurs striker Jermain Defoe. It takes quite a bit for a goalkeeper to get over a broken arm, so I think, all in all, I've had quite a good season, he said. But I need to concentrate and keep doing well until the end of the season now. It's been a good run of form for me. Hopefully it'll start to get a bit quieter from hereon in, but I've been called upon to keep the guys in it in the last few games, and thankfully I've been able to do that. I've been able to help out the team, which is nice. Gordon's fine form has coincided with an upswing in Sunderland's fortunes that has seen Steve Bruce's side claim eight points from their last four matches. They have opened up an 11- point gap to the bottom three, and while no one in the Black Cats camp is taking Premier League survival for granted, it would take an incredible set of results for things to go wrong now. The final seven games of the season should be reasonably stress free, even if Sunderland face a difficult task on Sunday when they travel to another Champions League hopeful in the shape of Liverpool. The Wearsiders should be boosted, however, by the availability of both Lorik Cana and Kenwyne Jones. We've not picked up a lot of points away from home this season, so Wednesday's game was a step in the right direction, said Gordon. It was important to show what we could do away from home. We gave as good as we got, and for an away team to have as many good chances as that, we know we gave them a game and stood up to be counted. We were much better than some of our recent away games. We passed the ball a lot better, kept it in some tight areas, and took some of the pressure off the defence by doing that. That set us up with a few attacks where we managed to get in behind them and create a few chances. I wouldn't like to say we were safe just yet. Anything can still happen, but the way we're playing and the performances we're putting in are definitely pointing us in the right direction. Sunderland striker Ryan Noble has joined Watford on an emergency loan deal for the rest of the season. The 18-year-old has scored 36 goals for the Black Cats' Under-18s and reserve sides during the current campaign. Noble could make his debut against Middlesbrough at Vicarage Road tomorrow.