Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford says England U19 disappointment is part of a learning curve

Jordan Pickford going through his paces in training

Jordan Pickford going through his paces in training

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LIKE club team-mate Connor Wickham with the England Under 21s, Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has endured a disappointing international tournament.

Pickford represented England Under-19s in the Elite Round of the UEFA under-19 European Championship in Belgium.

But the Washington-born keeper was sent off just five minutes into the opening game against Georgia, forcing him to miss the draw with Belgium before returning to keep a clean sheet against Scotland.

That helped England to finish second place in the group, but that was not enough for Noel Blake’s side to qualify and a disappointed Pickford is trying to look on the positive side of the trip.

“It was a good experience for me,” said the 19-year-old.

“We had a training camp prior to the tournament and trained with the England under-21 ‘keepers, which was a good test for me.

“In the tournament itself, I was sent off in the first game and I thought it was a bit of a ‘touch and go’ sending off – had it been in the Premier League I might have only got a yellow card.

“That’s the nature of the game though and it was good to be given my place back for the last game against Scotland.

“We had nine under-18 players because of players away in the under-20 World Cup in Turkey so it was always going to be difficult for us.

“But we all got together and worked hard and we got a good win against Scotland to finish the tournament.”