Simon Mignolet keeps Sunderland spot in Gordon absence

Simon Mignolet
Mignolet has made 21 appearances for Sunderland this season

Simon Mignolet will remain in the Sunderland goal for the rest of the season after Craig Gordon's campaign was ended by a knee operation.

Mignolet will hope to regain his best form after making two costly errors in Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Birmingham.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce had been hoping to delay Gordon's surgery until after the Premier League season.

After saying Gordon's season was now over, Bruce added: "That just sums our luck up at the moment."

Mignolet has proved a capable deputy to Gordon this season, with the 23-year-old keeping six-clean sheets in the first 13 games of the season in Gordon's absence.

The Belgium international, who joined Sunderland from hometown club Sint-Truiden in June 2010, has continued to perform impressively since coming back into the side in February because of Gordon's continuing knee problem.

However, his mistakes at St Andrews on Saturday were key moments in the 2-0 defeat.

Mignolet was involved in a mix-up with full-back Phil Bardsley and his hesitation in coming off his line allowed Sebastian Larsson to give Birmingham the lead.

The Black Cats keeper then failed to keep out Craig Gardner's long-range strike.

Bruce had considered recalling Scotland keeper Gordon for the five remaining Premier League fixtures, but he was forced to concede that the training regime designed to delay surgery until the summer had not been a success.

"Craig's been following a programme, but when the specialist had a look at the knee again, we were left with no choice but to go ahead with the surgery," Bruce said.

He added that Gordon, a club-record £9m signing from Heart of Midlothian in 2007, had undergone surgery on Monday and that the operation "went well".