Sunderland boss David Moyes has faith in young goalkeeper Jordan Pickford
Published 26/08/2016 | 10:06
Sunderland boss David Moyes has backed England hopeful Jordan Pickford to shine in the Premier League after being catapulted into the limelight by Vito Mannone's misfortune.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper, who was tipped by new England manager Sam Allardyce to play for his country one day during his time in charge at the Stadium of Light, will get his chance in the top flight after Italian Mannone damaged elbow ligaments in training and was ruled out for at least three months.
Moyes will look to sign another goalkeeper during what remains of the summer transfer window, but under-21 international Pickford, who spent last season on loan at Preston, will get the nod at Southampton on Saturday after playing in Wednesday night's 1-0 EFL Cup second-round victory over Shrewsbury, and Moyes is confident he has got what it takes.
The Scot said: "Definitely. I actually think that between him and Vito, it was very tight even at the start, but I think Vito with his experience got the jersey.
"Jordan is well-liked. He is another one of the young boys who have been talked a lot about. I think Jordan is probably the one, a young English goalkeeper.
"I do believe if you get young English players, it draws a lot of attention to your football club because it's something the media and the public want to see, so we are looking forward to having Jordan.
"We'll see how he does in the games. It is a big step-up from where he has been and it's not easy for young goalkeepers, but I'm confident that he'll be fine. I thought he played well the other night, what he had to do, so I'm confident.
"But again, the Premier League is a different animal and he'll get that chance to do it."
Mannone's injury is the latest in a series to have blighted Sunderland since the start of the season, and although want-away defender Lamine Kone, John O'Shea, Fabio Borini and Jeremain Lens will all be assessed ahead of the trip to the south coast, Jan Kirchhoff, Lee Cattermole and Sebastian Larsson will all miss out once again.
The Black Cats are yet to pick up a league point in two attempts under Moyes, and if they were to successfully address that issue at the St Mary's Stadium, that would get their campaign up and running and represent a significant landmark for their manager.
He said: "I have been told it would be my 700th point as a manager if I get it. I think there's only [Sir] Alex [Ferguson] and Arsene [Wenger] and maybe Harry [Redknapp] have got more, so if I could, it would be nice to get into that group."