Saturday, July 13, 2024

Trust the process, says Pickford after penalty shootout heroics for England

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Jul 2024

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England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford preached “trust the process” after his penalty shootout heroics against Switzerland.

Pickford got down low to keep out Switzerland’s first spot-kick, denying Manuel Akanji.

While the 30-year-old could not prevent the Swiss scoring from their next three attempts, England stayed perfect through the shootout, with Trent Alexander-Arnold holding his nerve to send Gareth Southgate’s team into the Euro 2024 semi-finals.

Pickford has now saved four of the 14 penalties he has faced in shootouts at major tournaments, twice as many as all other England goalkeepers combined saved between 1990 and 2012 (two out of 36).

Images shared widely on social media showed Pickford’s water bottle had a list of each of Switzerland’s penalty takers, and a direction in which he should dive.

And the Everton shot-stopper explained how he had to adapt his routine slightly in Dusseldorf, though he still trusted his process regardless.

He told ITV Sport: “The referee didn’t let me do my usual process so I’ve had to adapt. I like to give the lads the ball, it helps me with a bit of focus, and staying calm, but I could only do it on the first one – luckily I saved it!

“I trust my process, what I do, with my mentality, that I’m going to save at least one for the lads.

“But massive respect to the lads that stood up and took one and to score in the way they did – huge credit.

Two lads making their major tournament debuts in this tournament, and then Bukayo [Saka] coming off the back of 2021 and stepping up – it shows the character in our squad.

“We’ve got a quick turnaround but we’re still here, and that’s what we want and what the nation wants.”

For just the second time in their 10th shootout at a major tournament, England scored every single one of their penalties in the shootout (5/5), also doing so against Spain at Euro 1996 (4/4).

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