In-form Gordon pleased to be silencing his critics
SUNDERLAND goalkeeper Craig Gordon winces whenever he reads reports that mention his £9m price tag. He may therefore choose not to read past the opening line of this story but the Scotland international's recent performances have deflected attention from his usual billing as Britain's most expensive goalkeeper. Since Roy Keane used a sizeable chunk of the club's coffers to recruit Gordon from Hearts in August 2007, the keeper has been dogged by supporters and media questioning his value. His acrobatic efforts to keep Manchester City at bay last Sunday earned him the kind of superlatives all players crave and, since returning to full fitness, the Edinburghborn player has provided the solid foundation underpinning Sunderland's revival. It feels like a different club, noted the 27-year-old. Four points from the last two games shows we are heading in the right direction. The performances have been a lot better and we are a lot happier. It's a lot easier coming in to work. The players and the staff all have smiles on their faces and have been given a lift, he revealed. Once you get on a (bad) run it's very difficult to get yourself out of it. To change things around takes a lot of effort. We put in some real battling performances only to lose or only get a point and you start to wonder when three points are going to come around. When it did we scored four goals and you're left thinking why hadn't that happened for the last 14 games. You wait so long and then get a 4-0 performance that looks like it came out of the blue but for us it's been coming for a while. It's good that people have stopped talking about the price tag it's not something I've made anything of, I've just tried to get on with the job. It helps when you're playing well, no one talks about what you cost. It's up to me to keep playing well. I know one mistake rears its head and suddenly people are questioning if you're worth this or that amount. That can happen the media and the fans will have a pop at you. But if you are a big player you have to deal with those types of things. Gordon hailed the efforts of Birmingham boss Alex McLeish, who was Gordon's national boss for a short spell while noting the part England keeper Joe Hart has played in City's impressive return to the Premier League. There seems to be one surprise package every year and this season it's been Birmingham. Alex has done a great job. Knowing him from his days managing in Scotland he makes his teams very hard to beat. They have one of the best clean sheet records in the league. Alex will have played a major part in that because he was a great defender in his day and knows how to set teams up to work their socks off and be tough to beat. Joe Hart has had an incredible season. Some of the saves he's pulled off have kept them in games and they've gone on to get a result. He's done brilliantly and is putting in a strong case to be in the World Cup team. He's got a great chance. England have good competition and it will be a very difficult decision for the manager. I'm sure it will be one of the most talked about things in the build up. Nevertheless, the proud Scot's spell in England hasn't converted him to the Three Lions' cause this summer. I'll watch the games and from knowing the players from playing against them every week I want them to do well just probably not win it! That would be unbearable.
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