Pickford: England helped by youth team experiences

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has claimed that playing together for England’s youth teams has made the current generation of Three Lions players strong.

Pickford was in superb form during England’s 2-0 World Cup quarter-final win over Sweden, which set up a semifinal against Croatia, picking up the Man of the Match award.

The game on 11 July at the Luzhniki Stadium will be England’s first World Cup semifinal since 1990, and Pickford has offered an explanation why this young group of players is such a solid unit.

“I think we’ve all played with each other throughout the age groups and I think that’s given us experience in ourselves,” Pickford told FIFA TV.

“It doesn’t matter how many caps we’ve got as youngish players. We’ve all experienced playing with each other.”

Pickford, 24, came through the ranks at Sunderland before earning himself a move to Everton last year. He played every game in his first Premier League season at the Toffees.

He earned his first England cap last year after helping the Three Lions to the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship semifinals and is now repeating his heroics from that tournament at senior level.