How Gareth Southgate is helping Jordan Pickford respond to heavy Newcastle United criticism

Jordan Pickford insists he isn't affected by criticism
Jordan Pickford insists he isn't affected by criticism
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Jordan Pickford has revealed the important role England manager Gareth Southgate is playing in helping him respond to strong criticism.

The former Sunderland stopper came in for some criticism after his performance in Everton's 3-2 defeat against Newcastle United.

Despite saving a first-half penalty from Matt Ritchie, Pickford shipped three goals after the interval as the Magpies completed a remarkable turnaround.

And the 25-year-old admits that his performance on Tyneside was far from his best, but that he isn't dwelling on one negative in what has otherwise been a strong season.

"I think... apart from the Newcastle game, I think up until then I was doing well and I think I bounced back from that Newcastle game with a solid performance against Chelsea," he said, speaking to Press Association.

"I don't really look into my form too much. I know whether I've played a good game or a bad game.

"So, I always take it game by game and how can I improve from that game to get better for the next game."

Given Pickford's connections with Sunderland - and his first-half celebrations - it was perhaps no surprise that he was heckled by Newcastle supporters following the defeat.

And the stopper has revealed that England boss Southgate, who has first-hand experience of the North East game himself, has been helping him to respond to the criticism while on international duty.

"We just had a little chat about it really and they just asked us what did you think about the game," he admitted.

"Gareth being up at Middlesbrough for so many years, he knows what the passion for football in the north east is like. The abuse he gets, he kind of realised where I was.

"It's just social media really at the end of the day.

"You see it all on Twitter and stuff, and if you don't laugh you cry, don't you?

"But it's about me becoming better as a goalkeeper, so it's not about the criticism I'm getting, it's about how I can go to training and what I can do in training to become better for game day."