Everton keeper Pickford vows not to do an Alisson with England

Jordan Pickford England Sweden
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The Toffees star has seen domestic foes Liverpool pay the price for a ball-playing approach of late and says he will not be replicating those mistakes

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has vowed not to take the kind of risks Liverpool rival Alisson has paid the price for of late when he returns to England duty against Spain on Saturday.

The Toffees star has shown himself to as useful with his feet as he is with his hands, with it that skill set which got him the nod for World Cup 2018 duty over the summer.

Gareth Southgate favours a similar footballing philosophy to Jurgen Klopp, with his England side being asked to play their way out from the back where possible.

Pickford is happy to embrace that tactical approach but says he will not be trying the tricks that got Premier League foe Alisson into trouble during a recent meeting with Leicester.

The Three Lions’ No. 1 told reporters ahead of a UEFA Nations League opener at Wembley: “I try not to [do tricks] because I don’t want to be caught with the ball. It's a risk - if it comes off it looks good. But if it doesn’t…

“It’s a style of play and I think that's the way Liverpool want to play as well, but it’s going to happen. It’s just that the goalkeeper’s mistake is always a crucial one.

“Mistakes will happen and it's about not making the next one. I'm going to try not to put myself in that position to make those mistakes.

“It's the timing of the game, really. You don't want to get too comfortable if you're winning and start trying to be a No. 10. 

“If it's on to do I'll do it and if it's not we'll manage the game. That's where I learn more. The more games you play the more game management you learn.

“It’s all about decision-making, doing it at the right times, and I never put myself in too much risk.”

Jordan Pickford England 2018

Pickford claims he is happy to go long when required with England, with Southgate boasting enough targets in the final third of the field for the Three Lions to be mix things up and go direct.

He added: “You can play out when there are options and the way the gaffer sets us up, with three at the back, there’s always that option. 

“But the gaffer never hides away from getting the ball up because you see H [Harry Kane] and the aerial threat he’s got.

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“The gaffer is open to going long - and it’s not a kick up the pitch any more, it’s a ‘long pass’. Look at Ederson getting the assist a few weeks ago [for Sergio Aguero in Manchester City’s 6-1 win over Huddersfield]. 

“It’s about game management and what works at the right time. You might have had a spell of five minutes where you’ve been under a lot of pressure and you need to calm the game down. 

“The last thing you want to do, if a team’s pressing, is to play out, they win the ball and their crowd’s going up. It’s about getting the right balance.”