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What an accolade for Mark Prudhoe.

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What an accolade for Mark Prudhoe. Empty What an accolade for Mark Prudhoe.

Post  cyprussyd on 2018-07-08, 2:21 pm

Jordan Pickford reveals the Sunderland coach he will ring for advice after England reached World Cup semi-final 

 ROSS GREGORY Email Published: 08:27 Sunday 08 July 2018 

Former Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford admits he will ring his old academy coach to get an honest critique of his latest World Cup heroics. Pickford made three outstanding saves to protect England’s 2-0 quarter-final win over Sweden in Samara to earn a man of the match accolade. Pickford makes a second-half save. 

It continued the meteoric rise of the 24-year-old, whose crucial penalty save against Colombia sprung him from back pages to front pages among the national press. Pickford says he will keep his feet on the ground, however, thanks to his former academy coach Mark Prudhoe, who still is a huge influence on his game. 

“I’m a proper Sunderland lad from Washington,” Pickford said after the Sweden win. “I’d like to say I’ve had many coaches throughout my career but I always go back to Mark Prudhoe. He’s my main one. “At Sunderland he had me since I was eight years old when I was daft as a brush and I still ring him now. 

I’ll ring him after this game and ask him what he thinks. He’ll tell me if I’ve been good or bad.” Prudhoe hails, like Pickford, from Washington. He returned to Sunderland as an academy goalkeeping coach in 2011 having played seven times for the first team. Prudhoe has always been a big fan of Pickford, and recommended him for loan spells at the likes of Carlisle United and Preston North End, where the young goalkeeper was able to learn his trade. 

It was experiences like this which helped Pickford develop quickly, he says. “I haven’t played (nearly) 200 league games throughout the divisions for no reason,” he added. “It’s about experience. "I’m only 24 but I’m experienced enough to know when I need to manage the game and that’s why I went out on loan when I was younger. Now I manage the game well. “When you’re not in the game, you have to make sure you’re still in the game. “If you watch me I’m always moving in the goal and always talking and communicating. That keeps me in the game.” 

Pickford wants to create his own history with England Pickford wasn't in the game much in the opening 45 minutes but then was called upon to produce three brilliant stops as the Swedes looked for a way back into the game. The Washington-born star, however, says it was all part of the job and he didn't feel under any extra pressure in England's biggest game for years. "Nothing fazes me. The pitch is always the same: same lines, same goal height, same game of football," he said. "I just work hard every day in training. That's why I got a clean sheet tonight. All the saves I make in training are for showcasing them on a match day. "I never put myself under any pressure. I embrace the moment."

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