Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sunderland on the up, says Pickford

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Sep 2016

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Jordan Pickford has backed Sunderland to start climbing away from the Premier League relegation zone despite Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Tottenham.

The 22-year-old goalkeeper produced a string of fine saves to keep the visitors in the game at White Hart Lane, denying Harry Kane early on and Dele Alli and Erik Lamela after the break.

And with several of the club’s new signings now available for selection and a number of other players set to return from injury, Pickford is confident that a first league win of the season is just around the corner.

“If we can get a good result against QPR [in the EFL Cup on Wednesday], we can build some momentum going into the Palace game at the weekend and with the two home games we’ve got coming up, hopefully we can get two wins,” he told Sunderland’s official website.

“Everyone’s getting together; we’ve got some new faces and some injured lads coming back.

“I think we’ve got a great squad and a great mentality as well and we just need to build on it, get better and get the win.”

Pickford’s late blunder cost his side a possible win at Southampton last month but he produced a strong display at White Hart Lane and feels that his individual form is improving.

He also claimed that the result might have been different had former Spurs man Steven Pienaar not seen his first-half effort cleared off the line by Kyle Walker.

“I keep saying that the more games I get, the better I’ll become,” Pickford said.

“I would have liked to have kept a clean sheet, but it was better than conceding four like I did here last year.

“We defended a lot for 90 minutes, but they’re a top quality side really, let’s not kid ourselves and that’s why they finished in the Champions League spots last season.

“But I thought we did well, dug in as a team and kept the scoreline down to one.

“We had a couple of good chances ourselves as well, but it wasn’t to be.

“It might have been a totally different game if we’d scored the one that was cleared off the line in the first half, so we’ll take positives from it, but it’s unfortunate that we haven’t got a point to show for it.”

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