Pickford makes quick return after Sunderland training stint

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ROOKIE Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will resume his Burton Albion loan spell at Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday.

Academy product Pickford was brought back to Wearside late last week to provide cover for injury worry Keiren Westwood after the Republic of Ireland stopper was forced off at Hull City.

While Sunderland fell short of formally recalling the England Under-19 international, Pickford did train with the Black Cats first-team squad and was absent from Burton’s FA Cup win at Hereford United last weekend.

But the 19-year-old, who has made 12 appearances for the League Two side this season, returned to Burton yesterday and will resume his loan spell this weekend.

Brewers boss Gary Rowett said: “Jordan wasn’t actually officially recalled by Sunderland. They just called him back to training because Keiren Westwood was injured.

“They needed him to train with the first-team, but he was back yesterday.”

Meanwhile, fellow teenage Sunderland keeper Joel Dixon resumed his loan spell with Conference North side Workington Reds last weekend.

Middlesbrough-born Dixon was on the bench for Sunderland’s Capital One Cup victory over Southampton last week after being recalled, as Pickford was cup-tied.

But the 20-year-old helped Workington to their first away point of the season in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Solihull.

H Former Sunderland boss Terry Butcher declared himself “very excited” about his new job as Hibernian manager but admitted he had left Inverness Caley Thistle with a heavy heart.

Butcher was unveiled as Hibernian manager yesterday afternoon after signing a three-year contract.

He and assistant Maurice Malpas leave the Highlands with Inverness second in the Scottish Premiership following a 2-0 win at Easter Road on Saturday.

Butcher said: “It’s been a difficult week, it really has, because of what we have left behind up there. We left some fabulous players and it’s hard to say goodbye to that.”

“We have really enjoyed ourselves. It’s been nearly five years up there.

“It was really bizarre for me on Saturday to watch the team play. It was hard for Maurice as well.

“If you look at the way Caley Thistle played on Saturday, that’s the way we want to get Hibs playing from now on.

“But it was great to be at the training centre today. A few meaty tackles were flying about with everybody trying to impress.

“So it’s been a whirlwind eight days but we are just delighted to be here.”

Hibs chairman Rod Petrie, who was flanked by Butcher and Malpas at a media conference, added: “It can be a difficult job appointing a manager but it’s easy when there is an outstanding candidate who is head and shoulders above everyone else.”