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England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford: I’ve grown following off-field drama

Pickford scored from the spot and then saved the decisive kick to secure a penalty shoot-out success over Switzerland.

Jordan Pickford scored from the spot in the penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland (Tim Goode/PA)
Jordan Pickford scored from the spot in the penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland (Tim Goode/PA)

Jordan Pickford enjoyed another fine afternoon as England’s first-choice goalkeeper on Sunday and insists off-field drama earlier in the year has only help him grow.

The Three Lions finished the inaugural Nations League tournament in third place as Pickford scored from the spot and then saved the decisive kick to secure penalty shoot-out success over Switzerland.

It is the second-successive England shoot-out where Pickford has starred after he saved from Carlos Bacca in the World Cup round-of-16 clash against Colombia last year.

It has not been all plain sailing for the goalkeeper, however, as he suffered a mid-season slump in form for club side Everton.

Pickford was also involved in a scuffle in a bar in April after watching former club Sunderland lose the Checkatrade Trophy final to Portsmouth.

He was disciplined by Everton following the fracas but insists he has learned from the incident and is now happy to spend time at home with his fiancee and newborn child.

“It was just one of them, I don’t think there is much more to say,” he said after the win over Switzerland.

“You learn from everything, how to become a man and grow.

“I’ve got a little baby now and life has changed so with the little baby and my missus it is a totally different lifestyle now and it is great.

“I think the main thing about it is that I am a normal lad – but then sometimes you have got to realise you are not a normal lad, you are an England footballer.

“I just want to be a normal lad but you have got to realise certain situations but you learn from it like you learn from everything.

“So you move on from that and after that incident I pushed on at the end of the season, a lot of clean sheets. It just shows my character, it is what it is.”

Pickford revealed he had never taken a competitive penalty but struck home England’s fifth of the shoot-out with aplomb.

He then kept out Josip Drmic’s effort in front of the celebrating England supporters – before claiming he has never felt under pressure since making his international debut in 2017.

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Jordan Pickford scored from the penalty spot and then saved the decisive kick against Switzerland (Tim Goode/PA)

“I think you always learn and always mature in every game – whether it is club or international level,” he added.

“For me, I’ve always been decent, I made my debut against Germany, 23 year-old playing in goal for England. What a better moment and I kept a clean sheet.

“I think I started on the front foot and there has been a lot of pressure but I don’t feel pressure, I just want to go and express myself and do the best for the nation and for the team.

“If that is keeping clean sheets and keeping them well…I don’t feel any pressure and just feel I can get better to better.”

PA

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