Gordon aims to reclaim place
Forgotten Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon has warned Simon Mignolet he wants his place back after a year on the sidelines.
The 29-year-old Scotland international, who joined the Black Cats from Hearts for a British record fee for a goalkeeper of £9million during the summer of 2007, has been out of action since February last year with a knee injury. He returned to bench as an unused substitute at Newcastle on Sunday and is now ready to fight for a starting berth.
Gordon told the club's official website, www.safc.com: "I'll be doing everything I can between now and the end of the season to try to get back in the team. It's up to me to train hard, put some pressure on and prove that I am ready to start playing again."
He added: "If I can keep my performance level up in training as I have been over the last few days, I will be knocking on the door and looking to try and get a starting slot."
Gordon is out of contract in the summer and his future on Wearside is uncertain.
However, just to be back on the training pitch - he was part of the Scotland squad for last week's friendly in Slovenia - represents a major boost after a miserable 12 months.
He said: "Everything has seemed to come around at once - I probably have only been training at full pace for the last week or so, and then I was off with the Scotland squad. I got a couple of days' good training under my belt with them and then came back here and was on the bench on Sunday. It's been a long time coming."
Meanwhile, midfielder David Vaughan is hoping to take advantage of the loss of skipper Lee Cattermole and Benin international Stephane Sessegnon through suspension to force his way back into the team after injury.
The 29-year-old Wales international has missed the last seven games with an ankle injury, but has set his sights on a return against Liverpool at the Stadium of Light on Saturday after playing for Wales last Wednesday night.
He said: "Obviously with the suspensions, there are a few places up for grabs in the team. Hopefully I'll get that opportunity to come in and do a job and help the team win the game."