Jordan Pickford can prove critics wrong despite England and Everton place being under threat, says Toffes icon Southall
6th October 2020

JORDAN PICKFORD has been tipped to bounce back from a run of blunders — by Everton legend Neville Southall.

Under-fire Toffees keeper Pickford joined up with the England squad on the back of three recent mistakes.

He was at fault for both of Fleetwood’s goals in his side’s 5-2 Carabao Cup victory last month, before dropping a straightforward catch for Neal Maupay to score in last Saturday’s 4-2 Premier League win over Brighton.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate is now under pressure to start either Manchester United’s Dean Henderson or Burnley stopper Nick Pope in goal for tomorrow’s friendly against Wales.

And Everton chief Carlo Ancelotti has also increased the heat on Pickford by signing Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen on a season-long loan on deadline day.

But ex-Wales keeper Southall believes Pickford will prove his critics wrong and return to the impressive form he showed in England’s run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.

The 62-year-old — who played 751 times for the Toffees, winning five trophies — said: “I think he’s had probably three bad minutes in six months — if that.

“His mistakes aren’t killing us and once he finds his form, we’ll be flying.

“There’ll be a time when we have that little bump in the road and maybe we’ll have to rely on him.

“Maybe people will have to change their opinions.

“But I do think if Mr Ancelotti wants to play you, you must be half-decent. If his job was on the line there’d be a taxi outside Goodison tomorrow.”

Pickford, 26, got further support from another former Everton keeper in Tim Howard, who said Olsen’s arrival would benefit him.

The former USA World Cup star, 41, told Sky Sports: “Every good goalkeeper needs competition.

“Jordan is a top goalkeeper. There have been a few wobbles in his game recently but no one is exempt, at the highest level, from having a mistake or two.

“Jordan just needs to get back to basics and put a ten-game run together where there are no errors.

“But that happens at the highest level.

“I think bringing in another goalkeeper always helps to create competition and urgency.”

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