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Gareth Southgate says he's seen big improvement in Everton player these last few months

England manager Gareth Southgate has waxed lyrical about Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The Three Lions boss stresses he’s always had belief in the Goodison Park stopper’s abilities amid criticism from outside.

And Southgate has even noticed a big improvement in Pickford’s calmness in matches.

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The Toffees ace has been in incredible form for England over the past few years.

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With Pickford in between the sticks, the Three Lions reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final.

He kept five clean sheets in the latter tournament and even saved two penalties against Italy in the Wembley showpiece.

However, Pickford has had his fair share of critics whilst playing for Everton over the years.

Everton ace has “very, very important” qualities

Speaking ahead of England’s World Cup qualifier against Poland, Southgate alluded to this criticism and stuck up for his player.

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“We’ve always had belief in Jordan’s abilities as a goalkeeper,” the Everton website quotes him as saying.

“That has been questioned externally but never internally and his performances have always warranted that faith.

“There is the goalkeeping ability of keeping the ball out of the net, then the ability with his feet which is so important in the modern game.

“He has a fantastic range of passing and with the way we want to play that is very, very important.

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“There is room in everybody’s games to continue learning.

“And in the past six months, especially, his calmness in the matches has been a real standout and progression.

“That has never been an issue in our games but, generally, across the board, I think he has noticed that’s an area he’s paid attention to.

“And he’s certainly seen the reward of that in his performances.”

Everton return to action on Monday night when they host Burnley at Goodison Park.

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