Sunderland ace Jordan Pickford reveals the secret behind his superb kicking
Jordan Pickford has been a revelation for Sunderland since breaking into the first team.
The 22-year-old hasn't looked back after replacing the injured Vito Mannone in August with his form earning a call into the main England squad.
Among his growing list of attributes is his superb pin-point distribution, a key weapon which gets Sunderland moving quickly up the pitch.
And the Washington-born stopper says it is purely down to hard work and hours and hours of practice.
When asked where it comes from, Pickford revealed: "Nowhere special really, I just used to go out onto the field and practice my kicking.
"When I was a young lad myself and a couple of the lads played and it kind of just came from that.
"I always like kicking long distances so that’s what I always practised.
"The more I did it the more I learnt and the better I got. Now it’s just a case of doing it on a consistent basis."
Sunderland head to Old Trafford on Boxing Day buoyed by the 1-0 win over Watford, a result that saw Sunderland climb off the bottom of the Premier League.
It was only Sunderland's second clean sheet of the season in the top flight - something Pickford is desperate to add to.
Pickford said: "It’s nice to get a clean sheet because I’m not getting them as much as I would like to.
"I will take each clean sheet as it comes because from a goalkeeper’s point of view there is definitely nothing better than that.
"We had a good chance against Watford to get three points and that’s what we did.
"We struck together as a team and while we didn’t play great football in the first half we stuck at it and got the result.
"We pushed forward more after the interval and played really well. We played well against Chelsea but Thibaut Courtois made a decent stop in the end.
"Our momentum is gradually building up, we have been on a good run, and we are getting points on the board and keeping it tight at the back.
"Manchester United will be a tough game but we know it’s a good time to play them.
"We have to stick to our game plan, keep a clean sheet and then anything can happen."