Pickford Out To Keep His Old Friend Quiet

Jordan Pickford is hoping hours on the training pitch with close friend and former teammate Jermain Defoe will give him the edge when Everton host Bournemouth this weekend.

Pickford is expected to be recalled to the starting line-up after being rested for the 3-0 Carabao Cup third round win against his former employers, Sunderland, on Wednesday.

It was with the Black Cats where Pickford spent time with veteran striker Defoe, with the pair going their separate ways ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

The Blues custodian, who moved to Goodison in the summer for a record fee paid for a British goalkeeper, insists their friendship will be put on hold this weekend, while warning his current teammates they must be at their best to stifle the 34-year-old.

“No, I’ll see him at the game!” says Pickford when asked if he’s been in touch with Defoe.

“He’s scored plenty past us in training so hopefully he won’t have the chance this weekend.

“You get to know what strikers do when you’re working with them in training every day, all their little body habits.

“I know what he does but he’s that good and that much a proven goalscorer, it’s always difficult. That’s why you’ve got to keep him quiet.”

Everton head into the contest on the back of three consecutive defeats in the Premier League - but Pickford says confidence is not an issue ahead of the visit of Eddie Howe’s side.

He added: “The confidence is always going to be there, but it’s just how we deal with getting beat and how you’re going to bounce back.

“For myself, I’m a confident lad and I won’t let it affect me and hopefully, we’ve got a good group of lads who won’t let it affect them and we just move on. We made a lot of changes and came through a good result against Sunderland.

“Every game in the Premier League is tough but we’re going in there with a lot of belief that we can win games and coming back off a good result in the cup.

“I thought we played really well as a group against Sunderland and for most of the game [against Manchester United] last weekend. We’re starting to look like a tight-knitted team again.”

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