Jordan Pickford’s prepared to be put on the spot again in a shoot-out

Jordan Pickford insists he would be ready to recreate his Nations League penalty heroics when England face Switzerland in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals.

The game in Dusseldorf is a repeat of the third-place play-off of the inaugural Nations League tournament in 2019.

After a 0-0 draw, England would secure third spot with a 6-5 shoot-out victory, with goalkeeper Pickford scoring the fifth spot-kick before saving Josip Drmic’s effort and sealing the win.

Switzerland v England – Nations League – Third Place Play-Off – Estadio D. Alfonso Henriques
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford enjoyed scoring his penalty during the Nations League shoot-out win over Switzerland in Guimaraes (PA)

Asked if he would take another penalty if needed on Saturday night, the Everton man replied: “Yes, I will step up.

“I’m not the manager but I will practice and I will be prepared. Everyone has got to practice because anyone can be on the pitch at any time.

“The Nations League was a tough game, it went to penalties and we know they are a very good side, they’ve just knocked out the reigning champions (Italy) and are playing some very good football.

“They aren’t going to be a team we’re taking lightly and we’re going to have to prepare fully for it and that is what we will be ready for.”

It was Pickford’s second shoot-out success in the space of a year after he saved from Carlos Bacca in a World Cup last-16 victory over Colombia.

“Just experience, I would say,” Pickford replied when asked what he took from his performance against the Swiss five years ago.

“History of winning major tournaments shows that you’ve got to into extra time, maybe win a penalty shoot-out.

“It was the Nations League for third place and the bronze medal but you’ve got to learn from those experiences.

“Take those experiences into major tournaments and it was a good feeling back then to get them under our belt.”

Pickford also moved to ease any concerns he suffered an injury to his hand during the warm-up of England’s 2-1 extra-time win over Slovakia on Sunday night, confirming he landed hard on his little finger but has felt no ill-effects.

The 30-year-old is in his fourth major tournament as Gareth Southgate’s first-choice goalkeeper and still has the same excitement playing for his country as he called on any negative supporters to rally around England heading in the business end of Euro 2024.

“I don’t feel any different,” he added.

“Wearing the England shirt, giving my all for the country, for the badge and just go and enjoy it.

“On the training pitch. I do all my hard work then it is just about enjoying the moment and hopefully get the result each game.

“Sometimes the fans were on the edge, wanting balls into the box but we kept probing and passing and the balls were coming in the box and kept them suffocated. I think that drained them and that is what we need to keep doing.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saves a penalty from Colombia’s Carlos Bacca during the FIFA World Cup 2018, round of 16 match
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saves a penalty from Colombia’s Carlos Bacca during the FIFA World Cup 2018, round of 16 match. (Aaron Chown/PA)

“We are ‘never say die’ and character, resilience and (play) for the badge. We are passionate and we want to go all the way but no game is easy and they (Slovakia) took us in the trenches and we’ve got to keep fighting, which we did and once we stepped our foot on them…

“If I wasn’t a player, I’d be a fan myself so they want to see us win but we want to win the most.

“We are the players and we are the ones who want to win more. We want to put smiles on their faces – just stay behind us, keep that passion, keep the atmosphere, because us as lads and players buzz off it, especially me!”