CRAIG Gordon reckons Sunderland have put their disappointing winter behind them despite suffering last gasp disappointment against Manchester City.
The Scotland goalkeeper was in outstanding form against Roberto Mancini’s Champions League chasing City, pulling off four outstanding second half saves to keep Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy at bay.
But he could find no answer to Adam Johnson’s superb injury-time goal, which was curled with precision into the top corner to deny Sunderland a second win in the space of four days.
It left Gordon deflated but still encouraged by the way Sunderland played, which was a throwback to the superb autumn performances that saw Arsenal and Liverpool leave the Stadium of Light pointless.
“I thought we had done enough. To get so close is a little bit disappointing,” Gordon admitted.
“It was an unbelievable finish – right in the top corner and no one is stopping that.
“But with the performance against Bolton and what we did against Manchester City I think we have turned a corner. We are defending very well and if you don’t concede goals in this league then you give yourself a real chance.” Gordon’s performance may have caught the eye but he was backed up ably by John Mensah, who was superb at the heart of the Sunderland back four, and Micheal Turner, who comprehensively snuffed out the threat of Tevez.
The Black Cats have been in much better shape since the former Hull stopper returned to the team, but he admitted to disappointment at once again conceding in the latter stages of a game.
Sunderland have lost ten points to goals in the final ten minutes of games and coming so soon after the Portsmouth heart-break, it was another hammer blow to see Johnson’s goal deny them at the death. Turner admits it is a problem that needs to be addressed.
“We have conceded quite a few goals late on and it’s been disappointing,” he said. “Against Portsmouth we conceded a late one which denied us all three points. It’s one of those things that we have to deal with.
“I really thought that we had weathered the worst of it. Craig has pulled off four or five great saves and I was thinking we’re almost there when we get into injury time.
“Then the lad has gone and put one right in the top corner. On the balance of play it was probably a fair result but it’s still disappointing.”