Pickford: Perfect Performance Can Kick-Start Our Season

Jordan Pickford believes a clean sheet and convincing performance over West Ham can be the catalyst for Everton to kick-start their season.

The Blues keeper classed the 4-0 victory as a “perfect performance”, with a Wayne Rooney hat-trick and Ashley Williams header sealing a much-needed three points for the Club.

Pickford played a crucial role in the success, saving a 59th-minute Manuel Lanzini penalty at a time when the Hammers were piling on the pressure to respond from 2-0 down.

The win moved the Toffees up to 13th in the Premier League table, two points off ninth-placed Leicester, and Pickford feels the display and clean sheet can provide Everton with a platform to kick on.

“I think first thing’s first was to keep a clean sheet and build on a clean sheet and strong defence,” the 23-year-old England international told evertontv. “Then, we’re capable with the ability we’ve got in midfield and up top to go and score goals. It’s exactly what we’ve done. We class it as a perfect performance.

“We had that spark. We were really solid at the back and if you’re solid at the back, we’re going to get the chances to score goals and take those chances, as we did. We had a really good feeling about ourselves tonight.

“We always know one result can kick-start our season and this could be the turning point. We’ve got another winnable game on Saturday (at home to Huddersfield). We’ll focus on the training ground and we’ll try to get three points there.”

In their previous Premier League match at Goodison, the Blues needed an injury-time penalty miss from their former midfielder Tom Cleverley to seal a 3-2 triumph against Watford.

There was more spot-kick drama on Wednesday – but no denying Pickford was the hero this time as he dived full-stretch to block Lanzini’s attempted finish into the bottom left-hand corner.

The summer signing from Sunderland did, however, reveal he had a helping hand in the save.

“Kel [goalkeeper coach Alan Kelly] has pointed a direction to me (that Lanzini was going to shoot). I’ve held as long as I could and then gone - you don’t want to give him a chance to change his mind. I went in powerfully and got the save.

“We knew they were going to come flying out of the blocks in the second half and we had to deal with it. I think we could have dealt with it a bit better as a group of lads but that’s the learning curve we’re on. They got the penalty, I made a good save and we went from there. Some would say match-winning saves and that is what I’m there to do.”

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