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Page last updated at 15:16 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

Goalkeeper Craig Gordon applauds Sunderland defence

Craig Gordon
Gordon joined Sunderland from Hearts in August 2007

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon believes that their recent improvement in form is down to being able to field a relatively settled back four.

After Sunday's 1-1 draw with Manchester City, in which Gordon played a starring role, Steve Bruce's Wearsiders have now lost just once in seven games.

"It can help us if we can keep everybody together," said Gordon, 27.

"If you get a solid back four and goalkeeper playing together you get an understanding," he told BBC Newcastle.

Sunderland shipped seven goals in the space of one afternoon at Stamford Bridge in mid-January. But, since the beginning of February, Scotland international Gordon and his back four have tightened up, conceding just five goals in those seven matches - five of which they have drawn.

And the former Hearts keeper says that Ghanaian John Mensah has been an integral part of the defence, despite nursing a long-term back problem.

"He doesn't need to do a great deal of training," said Gordon. "He's actually quite fit, so to come out and just play games he is able to do that.

"He's a bit like Ledley King. He can do a little bit of training during the week, and then turn up and be one of the best players on the pitch week in, week out."

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