England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has admitted he is a much ‘calmer’ person and goalkeeper these days thanks to sessions with a sports psychologist.

The Everton shot-stopper was once known as a bellowing, hyperactive player but says he has changed for the better now.

He ended his club season in good form and is targeting a big Euros tournament to build on his World Cup heroics in 2018.

‘I just feel in a very good place,’ the 27-year-old told The Telegraph. ‘I began working with a psychologist at the start of the season.

‘You know in football, those little one or two per cent gains — just to raise your ability on the pitch and what you can achieve — are crucial. Whether it’s nutrition, psychology, extra gym sessions. I think it helps. So why not use it?’

Working with the psychologist has helped Pickford reappraise his outlook on the game as he prepares to play at Euro 2020 off the back of a hectic and demanding season.

He added: ‘I have to think how lucky I am; all of the work my family put in – from me being six, seven years old with my parents taking me to football all the time.

‘The amount they have invested in me. It’s about how can I keep that level of performance and look back to where I have come from.

‘It’s crucial and I feel that I have kicked on this year. I feel calmer, I feel in the moment and I feel great.’

Pickford, 27, kept 10 clean sheets in 31 Premier League outings for Everton last season, conceding 39 goals, as the club’s European qualification hopes ultimately fizzed out to a 10th place finish.

But Pickford will go into the Euros as England’s first choice keeper. Gareth Southgate’s side have only Sunday’s friendly against Romania to fine tune before their opener against Croatia at Wembley on June 13.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here