Sunderland' Craig Gordon vows to battle for No 1 jersey

09 March 2009 12:14
The Scotland international has found himself kicking his heels on the Sunderland substitutes' bench since recovering from injury due to Fulop's impressive form for the Premier League club.

It is a situation that has put his Scotland place in jeopardy and the former Hearts skipper has insisted he is in no mood to settle for a peripheral role at the Stadium of Light.

'I am in direct competition with Marton Fulop for the goalkeeper's jersey at Sunderland but I don't want to see him make mistakes,' Gordon said.

'It's a funny one for me. I'm desperate to get back in the team but at the same time I want to support him. It's about the team and all us keepers need to work together.

'You don't want to see any of your team-mates make mistakes but at the same time you have to look after yourself, you have to be selfish.

'There's only one place in the team for a keeper and we all want it. My stance has not changed: I'm desperate to get back in the side and I'm trying my hardest to do so.'

Gordon has played just one Premier League game since October when he was sidelined with an ankle problem.

The change of manager at the Wearside club has not helped his situation because it has ensured their record £9-million signing is no longer the first choice since Ricky Sbragia succeeded Roy Keane.

Sbragia has kept faith with Fulop despite the fact the Hungarian international dropped a clanger in the 2-0 defeat at Liverpool last week that effectively put the contest beyond Sunderland.

Despite the intense competition for places, Gordon has pledged to support Fulop.

'I didn't see the mistake at Liverpool, I was in the dug-out and my view was blocked, but I had a good chat with him about it afterwards,' Gordon added.

'He was disappointed as you would expect, I just told him not to be too down. The bottom line is, making mistakes happens is a keeper's life and it's how you respond.

'It was the first big error he has made and it was difficult for him afterwards but I'm sure he will bounce back.'

Gordon acknowledged that Sunderland are still embroiled in a relegation battle despite decent form.

'The Premier League is strange this season - you think you are getting away from danger and then all of a sudden you get dragged back in,' he added.

'It's almost guaranteed that the race to avoid the drop will go right until the end of the season, to the last day. The teams involved just keep beating each other.'


Source: Telegraph