Keeper disappointed at being dumped

Last updated : 13 December 2007 By Martyn Bowers
The £9m Scotland number-one was left on the substitutes bench against both Derby and Chelsea - where he watched his colleague keep a clean-sheet at home.

Gordon has found it hard to keep clean-sheets this season, having only done the task on the opening day of the season against Tottenham. However, his omission from the starting line-up was still somewhat of a surprise to everyone, and even Craig himself.

"It was disappointing not to be in the side for the Derby game. If you're fit, you want to play and I'm no different to anyone else in that respect," said Gordon.

"The Everton game was very disappointing for everyone at the club and the manager decided he was going to make changes - and I was one of them.

"Now I have to try to get myself back in the team. You have to pick yourself up and get on with it.

"I've thought a lot about it, but you can't let it get you down, you've got to bounce back and the only way you can do that is by doing your best in training every day."

Rather than being in a sulk about the whole thing, Gordon re-itterated his support for counterpart Darren Ward.

"I wished Darren all the best when he went in. I train with him every day and I want him to do well because we're all in this together," continued Gordon.

"The Derby game held mixed emotions for me because I'd be lying if I said I was happy not to be out there when we beat them.

"It was a game we had to win, no matter what, and we did win. I was happy for the lads and for the supporters because it was a vital victory, but obviously you want to be involved in games like that.

"We're looking forward to Saturday's game and hopefully we can keep our decent home record going.

"We've done reasonably well at The Stadium of Light, but the fans are vital because they have a lot to do with the fact we are decent at home.

"It has not happened for us away yet, even though we do have a fantastic following, but the supporters really helped us through it against Derby and I'm sure they'll do the same against Villa, and I hope to be involved."