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O'Neill admits he needs to give Gordon every chance of winning new Sunderland deal

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon deserves the opportunity to again prove himself at the top level according to manager Martin O'Neill.

The Scottish gloveman has not appeared for the Black Cats for more than a year because of a knee injury and with two top keepers in the form of Simon Mignolet and Keiren Westwood ahead of him, has found life difficult since returning to fitness.

But O'Neill is of the belief that he will have to give game time to Gordon prior to the end of the campaign in order for him to show he still has what it takes.

"I've got what I consider three really fine goalkeepers at the football club," O'Neill told The Shield Gazette.

"One, Craig, is recovering from a long-term injury and genuinely, before the end of the season, I would like to see what he can do.

"The goalkeeping position is one which does cause you a problem. It's not as if I can switch him from right-back to left-back.

"Craig is nearly about there in terms of full fitness, but the only way you can check is by putting him into the team.

"It's a situation I'll monitor before the end of the season, particularly with Craig's contract coming up.

"But if he's fully fit, then really he should be in a strong bargaining position anyway. He needs to play, though."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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