Moyes backs Pickford as Sunderland show concern over Mannone injury

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David Moyes has backed Jordan Pickford to fill the void left by the latest injury to hit the Sunderland squad.

Vito Mannone injured his elbow in the final stages of training at the Academy of Light yesterday, with the club’s number one taken to hospital for checks.

Pickford would have started tonight’s EFL Cup game against League One side Shrewsbury anyway – but Moyes is concerned about the severity of Mannone’s injury.

He injured his elbow in a collision with 17-year-old striker Joel Asoro. “Vito, just at the last cross we were doing in training, went for a cross with young Joel and the two of them collided. It was his elbow,” said Moyes.

“We don’t know yet. I couldn’t tell you exactly what the news is. It didn’t look too good coming off the training pitch. He went to hospital for checks to see what it is.”

The manager has no qualms about giving England U21 cap Pickford an extended run in the side, though, depending on the scans.

“Jordan was going to play tonight anyway, the bigger picture is how bad it is? I can’t really speculate until we know,” added Moyes.

“It might just be a bruise, but I have a feeling it might be worse. Jordan is capable – it was very tight between the two goalkeepers anyway. It is close.

“I told Jordan, ‘Vito will start and he has to push him hard to get it off him and Vito would have to play well to make sure, because he knows you are behind him’.

“I watched Jordan a few times [at Preston] and there was a lot of talk about the goalkeeper. He catches your eye because he is a great kicker of the ball. He is also a good all-round goalkeeper but young and it isn’t always that easy to play young goalkeepers.”