Gareth Southgate impressed by Everton's Jordan Pickford
Last Updated: 25/03/18 10:30am
Gareth Southgate was impressed by Jordan Pickford's World Cup audition as the battle to become England's number one heats up.
The Everton goalkeeper was selected ahead of Joe Hart, Nick Pope and Jack Butland for England's 1-0 victory against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday night.
Southgate was impressed with how the 24-year-old acquitted himself in just his second senior appearance for England.
"Yes [it was a good night for Pickford] definitely," Southgate said. "He transferred what we know he can do into an important game, a game away from home, so that was good for him.
"I think [it was] not the test that we faced in November (friendlies against Germany and Brazil) in terms of the pressure on our defence and the experience of the players.
"But, nevertheless, I think that's 11 clean sheets from our 16 games and that gives us a good base to build from."
If goalkeeper is one position where Southgate is weighing his options ahead of the World Cup, then midfield is another.
An injury to Jack Wilshere paved the way for Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to start behind Jesse Lingard in Amsterdam.
Southgate was pleased with their performance but also said players like Adam Lallana and Ruben Loftus-Cheek - man of the match on his debut against Germany in November - will have a chance to stake their claims.
"I think I said when we named the squad that Ruben was one that really impressed us in November, has different sorts of attributes and really is a number eight or number 10 rather than a deeper player," Southgate said.
"But we have good competition for places because if you look at possible number eights, Adam Lallana comes into that as well.
"We need to look at something a little bit different maybe Tuesday just to see as many of the different players in different roles as we can before we name the squad."