CRAIG Gordon insists Sunderland cannot continue the inquest into their derby no shows any longer.
Sunderland froze against their fiercest rivals for the second time this season last weekend when only Asamoah Gyan’s stoppage time leveller spared them the embarrassment of a double derby defeat.
But the draw maintained Sunderland’s top six challenge, with the Black Cats four points ahead of Bolton heading into tomorrow’s trip to Blackpool.
The importance of keeping the points tally ticking over is not lost on keeper Gordon as Sunderland look to avenge Blackpool’s smash and grab raid at the Stadium of Light last month.
Gordon said: “We have to be grateful for a point against Newcastle and we move on. You look at their league position and if they had won Sunday’s game, they’d have had a game in hand to go above us in the league.
“Our home record has been good and we had to dig in and fight to get back into the game.
“We kept going until the end and got some reward for it.”
Former Hearts star Gordon expects a tough challenge at Bloomfield Road, saying: “Blackpool have played some fantastic football and they’re definitely where they are in the table on merit.
“It’s going to be a difficult game for us.
“They’ve got a lot of points already this season, so we’ll have to go there and play better than we did on Sunday if we’re going to get anything.
“We had plenty of chances against them last month and hopefully we can do that again tomorrow and stick one or two away. You don’t get too many games like that but if we play in the same manner, I’m sure we’ll come away with something.”
Gordon admits he was at a loss to explain Sunderland’s below par display against Newcastle when Steve Bruce’s side should have been firing on all cylinders to gain some retribution for October’s 5-1 thrashing at St James’s Park.
But the Scotland international believes Sunderland’s young guns will have learned a valuable lesson about the pressure and expectation which comes with the Wear-Tyne derby.
“People will throw a number of reasons why we haven’t performed how we can again in a derby game,” added the 28-year-old. “But it’s very difficult to tell what it is.
“I certainly don’t have any ideas why that happens.“We needed to stamp our authority on the game better than we did. But I think we’ll have learned a lot from the two derbies.
“We’ve got a young squad here which is fairly inexperienced. Hopefully the lessons can stand us in good stead for next season.”