Gordon set for Sunderland return

BY foxsports • April 19, 2011

Scotland has sat out the last six games and was due to fly to Sweden on Tuesday to see a leading knee specialist. However, Bruce has now asked the 28-year-old to delay any surgery and play on. The move comes with Black Cats just five points above the Premier League drop zone after a nightmare run of just one point from their last nine games. The latest loss came at Birmingham when Simon Mignolet made two costly errors in the 2-0 defeat. Gordon is now expected to step up from the substitutes' bench against the 17th-placed Latics, who are just four points below the Black Cats. Bruce told the Northern Echo: "Craig will go to see the specialist again, but we've asked him to delay having an operation and play on. "We're going to have to manage the problem the best we can, but he will come back in. "We can't let him have the operation now because of the situation we are in." Bruce also wants his defence to tighten up after conceding at least two goals in eight of the last nine games. The Sunderland boss added: "For me, when we were successful, the reason was our back lot. Our back lot was rock solid, we didn't give much away. "Certainly, when (Michael) Turner and (Titus) Bramble were in tandem, we kept four or five clean sheets at that particular time, and that hasn't happened since. "For me, rather than up the front end, the one area where you need to be rock solid and create partnerships is at the back. "You need that spine of your team and, unfortunately, it hasn't really happened."

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