‘As a goalkeeper mistakes will happen’: Gareth Southgate backs his England No 1 Jordan Pickford amid poor form for Everton as he praises stopper for being a ‘key part’ of country’s success
- Jordan Pickford has been struggling for form in Everton colours this season
- His latest error led to Manchester United scoring through Bruno Fernandes
- England boss Gareth Southgate has backed the No 1’s ability to bounce back
England manager Gareth Southgate has backed his No 1 goalkeeper despite his patchy form this season.
Pickford again came under the microscope with many believing he was at fault for Bruno Fernandes’ equaliser in Everton’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United at the weekend.
But Southgate, speaking after England were drawn against Belgium, Denmark and Iceland in their Nations League group, stood by the stopper.
Jordan Pickford was at fault for Bruno Fernandes’ long-range effort against Everton
He said: ‘I think the reality is, as a goalkeeper mistakes will happen and people will shine a light on them.
‘That is the reality of the position. He’s been a key part of our success over three years. It’s good he has competition to achieve a high level.
‘He manages to brush those things off, it’s key for any player, the ability to brush things off kind of determine your career.
‘Obviously we gave Nick Pope a game in November, its an area where more experienced back-ups have injuries or dropped out of the frame.’
Gareth Southgate’s side will play Roberto Martinez’s Belgium in the Nations League
The England boss also had words of encouragement for Manchester City starlet Phil Foden, who starred as Man of the Match in the Carabao Cup final win over Aston Villa.
‘We’ve always known Foden is a very good player, it was great to see him in a showcase game at the weekend.’
And when asked about his concerns that Euro 2020 might be affected by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Southgate wants common sense to prevail.
‘We are here, but none of us know. I’m a bit old fashioned and think you just crack on with life and just follow the guidelines. We can’t affect it so will just get on with things,’ he added.
Pickford has made a number of mistakes this term but Southgate defended him
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