Sunderland's John O'Shea comments on talent of Jordan Pickford

Sunderland Gates

Pickford has been given a couple of first team opportunities recently by Sam Allardyce.

Sunderland defender John O'Shea has said there have been no qualms about handing games to young goalkeeper Jordan Pickford against the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham, saying that the side were aware of his qualities.

The 21-year-old has had a couple of loan spells in the football league, meaning that he had over 100 appearances to his name before making his bow for Sunderland, and O'Shea cited one spell where he impressed for Preston North End.

O'Shea is quoted in the Chronicle saying: “The manager is a better judge than me of how he will cope, but he had no qualms about putting him in against Arsenal at the Emirates and then against Spurs at White Hart Lane in the Premier League.

“I know he conceded four goals [at Spurs], but I thought Jordan was definitely our man of the match.

“He made some top-class saves against Spurs.

“We were aware of Jordan’s talent before he went on loan to Preston, and he had been with us on pre-season as well.

“And seeing how he went on there [at Preston] with more game time and playing in the pressure of the Championship, only emphasised to us how good he is.

“I think he kept something like 12 clean sheets in 20-odd games.”

Pickford seemed to impress a lot of people with his performance against Spurs, even though his side were on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline. 

It seems that Sam Allardyce has a lot of faith in the 21-year-old to put some real pressure on Vito Mannone to be the club's number one goalkeeper, and was prepared to let Costel Pantilimon leave the club for Watford. Letting a goalkeeper with a healthy amount of experience in the Premier League with a decent pedigree is a pretty big statement.

It is interesting that his games have come against very good opposition. It might be a way of managing Pickford by suggesting that Allardyce has a lot of faith in him to deliver against the big sides while not putting him under the kind of pressure that would come in a relegation six-pointer.

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