Jordan Pickford could be part of yet another record-breaking English backline on Wednesday night as he identified his decision-making as his biggest improvement in recent months.
When the Three Lions at their World Cup Qualifying game in Poland on Wednesday, they will record their 12th goal of the calendar year, one more than in 1966 – the best record at the moment.
During Euro 2020, the Everton goalkeeper exceeded the previous record set by Gordon Banks 720 minutes without conceding a goal for his country.
Pickford also saved two penalties in the final on penalties against Italy after conceding only two goals in the entire tournament.
His position as England number one fell in March Danger when Nick Pope started all three World Cup qualifying games with Pickford injured.
But since Pope then needed a knee operation, Pickford got the gloves f For the entire European Championship and thinks that he has improved as a goalkeeper lately.
“I’m also a lot more experienced. Everything is a learning curve. It’s about improving day by day and being consistent.
« I think the most important thing is decision making – getting the right pass at the right time, whether it’s a counterattack or whether I’m going to get the sting out take the game and give the boys a break.
« So for me I think that I always had the feeling that I could distribute the ball well. I’m in charge of the ball and managing the game, so I think I’ve improved the most. «
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While Pickford’s club form has occasionally been questioned, he has always retained Gareth Southgate’s confidence.
« I think we always believed in his ability as a goalkeeper, » said the England coach.
« I think it was questioned externally, but never internally, and his performances have always justified that belief.
» There’s the goalkeeping ability to keep the ball out of the net and then there’s his ability with the feet, which is so important in the modern game.
« He has a fantastic passing game and the way we want to play is very, very important.
» I think there is always room in every game to keep learning, and I think, especially in the last six months, his calmness in the games was a real highlight and a further development.
« As I said, that was never a problem in our games, but I think in general he paid his attention to this area d he surely saw the reward for it in his accomplishments. «
» It’s noise and I feel like I have my job to do, they have their job to do, « he said.
« It’s easy for me to play on the pitch and not be distracted by anything. Just to be in this mental state to concentrate on the job. «
Pickford saved Andrea Belotti and Jorginho in the Euro 2020 final when England ended up losing.
» When it comes to big tournaments , I work a lot on penalty shootouts. You have to give yourself the best opportunity to save her. «
» I know what a top shooter Jorginho is, so I knew I had to save that penalty to keep us in the tournament.« To win tournament football you have to win a penalty shoot-out, and we just missed that against Italy.
» But as a player, as a squad and as a nation, it drives us to do better and move on to this World Cup go and try to win them. «
Sometimes a philosophy of shadows is worth more than a cynic’s life’s work.
This is how the Boys in Green rated the 1-1 draw in World Cup qualification against Serbia.
Stephen Kenny wants his Irish side to convert their draws into wins and make a statement for the remainder of the World Cup season after a hard-earned 1-1 at home against Serbia.
A Mediahuis website
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