Gordon discusses the Defoe tackle
Craig Gordon fractured his arm thanks to a tackle from then Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe in a 2-0 defeat at White Hart Lane back in 2009.
The two players will now be rivals in Scotland season, following Defoe’s move to Rangers and Gordon says although he thought the striker meant to kick him, he believes there will be no problem once the players meet this season:
It’s a long time now and it should probably remain in the past and we can get on with it. It was him that caused my broken arm, a lot of years ago. There’s a lot of water under the bridge since then, so I’ll be getting on with it.
I wasn’t happy at the time. I was annoyed. I did think he meant to kick me rather than the ball, which happens in tackles anyway.
Sometimes you mean to give the player a little kick. And I’m not suggesting he meant to break my arm. He’s not that type of player.
I have felt it was a bad challenge which didn’t need to be made. But I’m not going to make a big thing about it. That’s in the past.
I feel strong, I’ve come back. It’s not something that will be in my mind.
He did try to contact me afterwards, but I declined the opportunity to speak to him. I was still too angry, but that’s long finished now. I played against him for Sunderland after it. He was just another player.
It’s not something you can go into a game thinking about. Lots of players get injured because of a tackle, you play against them and that’s just the way it is.
I’d shake his hand. No problem. I’m just going to get on with the game. There won’t be any problem.
Gordon is aware how dangerous Defoe still is and believes there have not been many better goalscorers than the 36-year-old former Sunderland striker:
He’s scored a lot of goals and that will make people sit up and take notice.
He’s coming to the end of his career now, but, in terms of goalscoring, there hasn’t been many better around the British game over recent years.
He always seems to hit the target. I can’t see that being any different. He’ll be someone to watch out for.
Stewart not in Monk’s plans
Birmingham City striker Greg Stewart was recalled by the club last week after he spent the first half of the season on-loan at Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock.
Stewart scored eight goals and picked up eight assists in 16 games for Killie and he was linked with a move to Sunderland as soon as his loan spell ended.
He has also now been linked with a move to Aberdeen but he will not be staying with parent club Birmingham City after their manager Garry Monk says recalling Stewart was a club decision and that the player is not in his plans:
That’s a call from the club. My squad is the squad and I am focused on the players I have got.
That side of it the club is dealing with.
It’s not part of my thinking. It’s up to the club what they want to do with that situation, my job is to focus on the squad I have and to support them.
Elliot Embleton started for Grimsby Town but they suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Sol Campbell’s Macclesfield Town.
The Mariners had been in good form of late but despite having the majority of possession, had trouble posing a real threat and struggling Macclesfield deservedly won thanks to goals from Tyrone Marsh and Scott Wilson.
Darlington drew 0-0 at Alfreton Town with Sunderland youngster Williams Kokolo starting at left-back. Both sides had chances to win it and Kokolo delivered some good balls into the box but honours remained even.
Connor Shields started on the right win for Alloa Athletic during their 2-1 win over Greenock Morton.
Chris Millar had given Morton the lead but Alan Trouten equalised from the spot, converting a penalty he won himself and then Alloa won it when Kerr Waddell could only blast the ball into the roof of his own net when trying to make a clearance with less than 15 minutes to go.
Strasbourg won 2-1 at Toulouse as their good form with Lamine Kone as part of their back three continued. Ludovic Ajorque gave the away side the lead before Max Gradel was fouled in the box, initially the referee refused to give a penalty but eventually relented, consulted VAR and awarded a penalty. Gradel was not allowed back onto the pitch to take the penalty due to receiving treatment on the injury he picked up winning the penalty but former Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo stepped up to equalise from the spot.
Ibrahima Sissoko was the match winner for Strasbourg, rising unmarked to head in a corner with 25 minutes remaining.
Kone’s side have lost only one of their last eight in all competitions and qualified for the semi-final of the Coupe de France in midweek.