Sunderland and England Under-21 ace confident of Premier League survival

Sunderland and England Under-21 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford
Sunderland and England Under-21 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford
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Confident Jordan Pickford has no doubt Sunderland can pull off another great escape to maintain their place in the top flight.

Struggling Sunderland are seven points adrift of safety heading into the final 10 games of the season with the situation looking bleak for David Moyes and his Sunderland squad.

But home-grown Pickford remains convinced the Black Cats have what it takes to spark a winning run and climb out of trouble once again having strongly flirted with the drop for the past four seasons.

"Definitely," Pickford told EASPORTS.com when asked whether the Black Cats have what it takes to survive this season.

"We’ve got a good mentality in the squad and we’ve stuck together.

"We’ve done it in previous years so we’ll do it again.

"It’s massive for me to play in front of my home fans.

"Obviously being a young lad, I’ve always been a fan going to games week in, week out, watching the side play.

"Now getting to be out on the pitch is an experience I’ve always wanted, so it’s amazing for me."

Sunderland return to Premier League action this weekend when Moyes takes his squad to Watford for the first game of a busy run of April fixtures.

Pickford is enjoying playing under the Scot, who took over from Sam Allardyce last summer when he was named England boss, albeit briefly.

"It’s good," added Pickford.

"Obviously we’re getting new experiences every time a new gaffer comes in and its great to be able to learn something new off of a new manager."

Pickford is currently away with the England Under-21 squad ahead of tonight's game with Denmark.

The highly-rated 23-year-old was drafted into the main England squad last November as cover, with the England goalkeeping unit strong with Joe Hart, Fraser Forster and Tom Heaton all currently ahead of him in the pecking order.

When asked how long he thought it would be before he is challenging for the senior No.1 spot, Pickford said: "I was called up to the senior squad in November and it was a great experience for me and a big learning curve, it’s all about maturing as a keeper.

"But I’ve hopefully got the Under-21 European Championships in the summer and I want to go there, be a part of it, try to win it and take it from there.

"Obviously I’ve got top keepers in front of me. I’ve always looked up to Joe Hart as a young lad, and the way he’s gone about his football.

"When I was with him in the England squad I saw first hand what a top keeper he is so I’ll do well to get past him," added Pickford, who says his football idol growing up was Peter Schmeichel.

Of the current stoppers playing in the Premier League, Pickford says look no further than Manchester United's David De Gea or Tottenham Hotspur's Hugo Lloris.

"They’re both top drawer," added the Washington-born stopper.

"Lloris is rapid and has incredible reactions. And you only have to look at the save De Gea made from Hazard against Chelsea down to his right."

* Jordan Pickford was speaking about FIFA 17, Sunderland AFC and the season so far to to EASPORTS.com. To read the full interview click here: