Jordan Pickford England Golden Glove

Jordan Pickford (right) wants the World Cup Golden Glove

And that has given Gareth Southgate something of a selection dilemma.

England manager Southgate will be tempted to give his No 2 Jack Butland a game in the third place play-off against Belgium in St Petersburg tomorrow).

Pickford, though, not only wants to push his claims for inclusion in the FIFA team of the tournament but also wants to settle a score with Belgium counterpart Thibaut Courtois, who is also in the running along with France captain Hugo Lloris.

Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois questioned his lack of inches when he was beaten by Adnan Januzaj’s shot that settled the dead rubber group game between the two countries in Kaliningrad.

“Belgium? I owe them one – definitely,” said Pickford. “I’d love to get the goalkeeper of the tournament and hopefully I will get the nod against Belgium.

Jordan Pickford England Golden Glove

Jordan Pickford could not prevent England crashing out of the World Cup

I’d love to get the goalkeeper of the tournament

Jordan Pickford

“We came to win this tournament. We can’t do that now but we want to finish third. It will be a tough test against Belgium again.

“Of course it will be hard to get ourselves up for it. That’s where character comes in. It’s another chance to show our togetherness. We want to finish a great tournament on a high.

“We can’t finish the best team in the world but we can still be the third best.”

Pickford has stepped up to the world stage with spectacular success along with England’s other international rookies Keiran Trippier and Harry Maguire to vindicate Southgate’s decision to make him No 1 ahead of Butland despite his relative lack of experience at this level – he had not won a competitive cap before the tournament.

Now Everton’s player of the season says he will become an even better goalkeeper for the confidence and experience he has taken from the five weeks in Russia.

Thibaut Courtois World Cup

Thibaut Courtois suggested Jordan Pickford is too short

“I just feel I can get better all the time and playing in this tournament can only help,” said Pickford. “The more experiences like this, the more I’m going to improve.

“This tournament will put me in good stead for the future. I know what I’m good at – I don’t think I have any weaknesses but I know what I can improve on.

“Your game management can always get better. But I’ve shown in this tournament I am capable of doing it at this level.

“My abiding memory of the tournament? It’s got to be the penalty save against Colombia. It felt big at the time and it still feels big now. We won a shoot-out. And we won a knockout game.

“The other memory is that I know I have played well in the tournament. But above all this is about a group of lads embracing every moment, enjoying ourselves and doing ourselves justice. Unfortunately, we just came up a bit short.

“My over-riding thoughts right now are that we did ourselves proud and the country believes in us again. Beforehand, I don’t think they were expecting too much from us. Now they have seen the character there is in this squad. They can see we are capable of progressing.

“We never gave up. We kept on going to the end. That shows what sort of lads we are. If we win on Saturday, we can look back on the tournament with a lot of pleasure. And that is what it is all about.”

Meanwhile, Butland admits it was hard watching from the bench for the six games so far but hopes his patience and support of Pickford will be rewarded with a chance to show his ability tomorrow.

England World Cup

England’s bench could get a run out in the World Cup third-place match

“It was horrible watching,” said the Stoke goalkeeper. “Being on the sides watching the boys go for it is out of your control.

“You’re never gifted an England appearance. If I play then that’s brilliant, I’ve done my best out here, I’ve tried to support Jordan the best I can to help give us the best chance as a team. Popey [No 3 keeper Nick Pope] as well.

“We’ve all worked really hard but that’s what we expect of everybody. If given the opportunity to play I would love it and hopefully there would be a few of my family out here to watch it as well.

“It’s a difficult game isn’t it because we wanted to be in the final. We need a day of dusting off, putting everything to bed and try to bury it as best we can. We want to try and finish on a high on Saturday and if given the chance I’ll relish it and enjoy it.”

post source

Leave a your comments