Gordon targets No.1 spot

Sunderland keeper back to fitness and keen to play

Craig Gordon: Will do everything in his power to get back into the Sunderland team

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Craig Gordon has set his sights on regaining a regular starting place at Sunderland after returning to fitness.

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.

Keiren Westwood was snapped up from Coventry last summer to increase the number of options between the posts, and he has vied with Simon Mignolet for the No.1 spot this season.

However, with Westwood out with a wrist problem, Gordon returned to the 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: "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.

"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."

Long time coming

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."