Pickford hoping he will prove spot-on for England at World Cup
FORMER Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is ready to become a penalty shootout hero in this summer’s World Cup.
The Washington-born shotstopper, who joined Everton in a £30m deal last summer, is one of three goalkeepers in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the finals in Russia.
The 24-year-old has revealed the Three Lions have been rehearsing at their St George’s Park training base for any possible shootout in the knock-out stages, from the long walk from the halfway line through to converting – and, in his case, saving – the spotkicks themselves.
“We have been doing the walk from the halfway line,” said Pickford (right), who is in the squad along with Stoke City’s Jack Butland and Burnley’s Nick Pope. “We are not looking too far ahead but behind the scenes we are doing a lot of work to be prepared for how we would want to go about it. “It is pot luck sometimes. Sometimes you just have to pick a side to dive to, wait and attack that side. If you get there you get there and if you don’t, get the next one. It is like a lottery. If you save a couple you can be a hero but there is no pressure on you.”
Pickford is also happy to take a spot-kick, if the need arises.
He said: “If I need to step up, I’ll take one.
“I’ve got no issue with that. I’ve never taken one in a shootout but I’m always practising in training.”