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I like the pressure – Jordan Pickford ready for quarter-final clash

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford celebrates after the Euro 2024 win over Slovakia. (Martin Rickett/PA)
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford celebrates after the Euro 2024 win over Slovakia. (Martin Rickett/PA)

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is ready to soak up more “big-game” pressure as he looks to close in on the all-time European Championship clean sheet record by shutting out Switzerland.

The quarter-final clash in Dusseldorf on Saturday evening will present Pickford with the chance of moving on to eight clean sheets throughout his Euros history.

That would move the Everton stopper level with Edwin van der Sar and Gianluigi Buffon and just one shy of the all-time record holder Iker Casillas, who won the competition twice with Spain.

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas reacts during an international friendly
Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas reacts during an international friendly (Mike Egerton/PA)

Pickford has been a mainstay in Gareth Southgate’s side and was part of the team that made the Euro 2020 final, only to lose on penalties to Italy.

Asked what brings out his best in tournament conditions, Pickford was quick to praise his team-mates.

“I like the pressure,” he said. “I like the pressure of big games and big-game moments.

“I have got those clean sheets but it is not just me, it is the full XI, the lads coming off the bench.

“I take the plaudits but I am here to do my job, the rest of the side do the defensive job as well.

“It is a team effort and if I can help the team keep a clean sheet, with the ability we have going forward it is always going to give us a chance.”

Pickford has kept two clean sheets in Germany – against both Serbia and Slovenia – to add to the five he kept en route to the final three years ago.

The defence in front of him will change in personnel, and potentially shape, for the clash with Switzerland.

Southgate has reportedly toyed with the idea of shifting to a back three, while Marc Guehi will definitely miss out through suspension.

“I think he has been brilliant since he came in but it is an opportunity for everyone else,” Pickford said of the Crystal Palace centre-back.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford gestures during the Euro 2024 clash with Slovenia
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford gestures during the Euro 2024 clash with Slovenia (Martin Rickett/PA)

“Everyone is here on merit because they have had a brilliant season with their club, whoever plays will be ready to take the challenge on.

“We are a team of 26 and everyone has got to be raring to go for the game and whoever is going to play will be ready. We have prepared well all week and everyone will step up and do the job for the badge.

“Me as a goalkeeper, you have got to keep your own identity and the shape the manager and the staff want us to play, I have got to adapt to that and so has the rest of the team. Whatever is given to me I am ready to take the challenge on.”