Sunderland boss David Moyes tells Jordan Pickford to follow Joe Hart's example
Jordan Pickford has been told to take a look at England goalkeeper Joe Hart as he attempts to establish himself as a Premier League player.
The 22-year-old Sunderland starlet has endured a testing start to the season after being drafted in for the injured Vito Mannone with new boss David Moyes trying to mould a team in front of him.
Pickford's late slip at Southampton before the international break saw the Saints snatch a point, although he turned in a good individual display against Everton on Monday night only to be let down by his defenders as Romelu Lukaku plundered an 11-minute second-half hat-trick.
Now Moyes, who has high hopes of the England Under-21 international, has challenged him to learn from Hart and his contemporaries to take the next step in his development.
The Scot said: "He needs to continue to up his level, he needs to continue to change his body and his frame. I remember Joe Hart when he first left Shrewsbury to come up - when you look at him compared to the shape and the size he looks now...
"There's a lot of work the goalkeepers, especially young goalkeepers, have to put in in the gym, through their level of commitment in their work, and Jordan should look at these people and how they were when they left at 21 and 22 years old and how they shape up now.
"There'll be a big difference in how he would see them."
Moyes is acutely aware that Pickford is a young man playing in a position in which experience can be priceless.
However, he is confident his early exposure to the Premier League, which will continue at Tottenham on Sunday, will pay dividends in the long run.
He said: "I actually think Jordan will be pleased with his performance [against Everton] - and he should be pleased because I thought he played well. He handled well and he did his bit.
"But he is going to get worked, that's for sure, so he's going to be put under pressure. It was important that he came through this game well because he played well at Southampton, but let one slip and maybe if another one had gone in, we would have had to look at him a bit closer.
"But I thought he played very well. He looks as if he's got real potential to go on and become a first-class goalkeeper."
Moyes could turn to 28-year-old midfielder Lee Cattermole at White Hart Lane for the first time this season following his return to training after hernia surgery.