'I don't care if I'm not the biggest keeper' - Pickford hits back at Courtois after penalty heroics

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The Everton keeper proved that speed and agility were just as important as stature with a brilliant save to deny Colombia in the last 16

England's penalty shoot-out hero Jordan Pickford has rubbished claims he is too small to be a world-class goalkeeper. 

Thibaut Courtois had suggested that Pickford was too short following Belgium's 1-0 Group G win over the Three Lions last week. 

But the Everton No. 1 hit back with a stunning save off Carlos Bacca in the shoot-out that sent England on the way to the quarter-finals at the expense of Colombia

"I have got power and agility. I don't care if I'm not the biggest keeper because it's about being there in the moment and making the save, and I was," he said after the tie.

"It is all about the set position and I got a hand to it. I did all my research.

"We knew we had this game, even if it had to go to penalties, we knew we were capable of winning."

Pickford appeared to have chosen the wrong side as Bacca's penalty flew down the middle, but he did just enough to stick out a hand and keep the kick out.

"I was in a massive whirlwind but I saved it with my left hand. I've been criticised for going with my top hand, but as long as you save it, that's all that counts," he explained.

"I might be young but I've got good mental strength and experience and I used that today.

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"It's a great night to win a penalty shootout. Ideally we don't want to be going to a penalty shootout but we are delighted for the fans and the whole country.

"It gives us belief to go into the Sweden game and we will get straight back to business tomorrow."

England now have four days to prepare for their last-eight meeting with Sweden, with that match to take place on Saturday.

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