Pick­ford hop­ing he will prove spot-on for Eng­land at World Cup

The Chronicle - - Safc -

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.”

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