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Page last updated at 18:32 GMT, Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Sunderland goalkeeper Gordon calls for derby calmness

Craig Gordon
Gordon has made just two previous derby appearances for Sunderland

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon says that Sunday's Wear-Tyne derby with Newcastle United will be a time for 'calm heads' within Steve Bruce's team.

The Wearsiders were beaten 5-1 at St James' Park in October's corresponding fixture, and Sunderland will be keen to avenge that result on home turf.

"It's a time for calm heads," Gordon told BBC Newcastle.

"We've had a lot of time to reflect on it and we'll be making sure that doesn't happen again."

The Scotland international has made 89 appearances for Sunderland following his £9m move from Heart of Midlothian in August 2007.

But, ahead of his third derby game, he admits: "It's difficult not to get drawn into the emotion.

It will be a time for experienced players to go in there

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon

"It's a derby match. There's going to be big hype all through the week, looking forward to the weekend.

"You can't escape it. Everyone knows how important this is.

"We're desperately trying to put on a better show than we did last time and, on our home patch, our form in the league has been very good and we're desperate to keep that going."

Sunderland could be boosted by the return of recent absentees Nedum Onuoha, Danny Welbeck and Lee Cattermole, but have long-term injuries in the shape of Fraizer Campbell, David Meyler and Michael Turner.

"We've a few players back from injury and suspension," added Gordon.

"We're slowly starting to get a squad back together. We're not at full strength, as Newcastle won't be."

Newcastle have failed in their appeal against Cheik Tiote's red card at Stevenage last weekend, and top scorer Andy Carroll could also be unavailable as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury.

"It's a case of both squads being tested to the full," said Gordon, "especially over the many fixtures we've had recently.

"It will be a time for experienced players to go in there and play the game."

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