England ace Pickford outlines Kane role in World Cup golden glove bid

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Jordan Pickford believes he can be a contender for the World Cup Golden Gloves – because he is tested by the best. The England goalkeeper was one of the three leading candidates in 2018, only to lose the final vote to Belgium’s Thibault Courtois.

The summer before last at Euro 2020 he had an even better call to be considered the tournament’s best goalkeeper with five clean sheets.

However, he missed out on an award because UEFA don’t have an official awards category for the last line of defence.

He names Courtois, again, and Germany’s Manuel Neuer as his fiercest rivals for the award. But at the same time Pickford claims his only focus is to go far enough in the competition with the team for him to be in with a shout.

“I’m a team player and hopefully putting in top performances for the lads and the country and the badge, and if it comes around that I’m winning the Golden Glove then ideal. 

“As a team player, though, we want to win the tournament and go all the way.

“If that brings the Golden Glove I’ll be happy, but the main focus is winning the games and helping my team-mates out.”

That said, Pickford admits it does keep him on his toes having some of the Premier League’s top scorers firing at him regularly in training.

“They’re unbelievable,” he said. “Each and every one of them, really.

“If we are doing shooting drills, attacking drills, they are ruthless in front of goal.

“As a goalkeeper, sometimes you can’t save them but you are up against the best so when you do save them you feel good about yourself and have a buzz.

“Top strikers in the world like Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford, the wingers are all unbelievable in front of goal so it is good to train with and it gets the best out of you really.“

Of course, a little bit of support from the players in front of you can be the difference.

With that in mind, Jordan took time out of his press conference to praise the performance of the under-fire Harry Maguire in front of him in the 6-2 win over Iran.

“He was really good the other night,” Pickford said. “For the first goal with the pass, then the assist with the set-piece and maybe could have got us a penalty with the VAR that went against us.

“But yeah, we have a great relationship.

“The majority of my caps have been with Harry playing in front of me and we work really well together.

“Our defensive record with Harry playing there is really good as well and he is in a very good moment. Harry’s doing fine and it’s really good to work with.

“He, of course, needs to be respected a lot more but part of being a footballer is being criticised, as everyone gets criticised in football.

“But Harry is mentally strong and takes it really well.

“It’s a bit unfair but his performances on the pitch show why he has so many caps for England and is captain of Man United.”

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