Lampard assures Pickford he WILL be fit to be England’s No 1 at the World Cup


Frank Lampard has held talks with Gareth Southgate over Jordan Pickford’s fitness and assured him England’s number one will be fit for the World Cup.

Pickford damaged his thigh during his outstanding performance in the Merseyside derby two weeks ago and will not play any part in England’s Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany, despite being eager to join up if at all possible.

Everton’s medical staff have been discussing Pickford’s rehabilitation programme with the Football Association and, as things stand, he is in line to go back between the posts against either Southampton, on October 1, or Manchester United the following week.

Some players would be inclined to protect themselves when returning from a muscle injury, so close to a major tournament, but Pickford sees things the other way around and is impatient to get his gloves back on; it has meant Lampard has had to explain to him the need to follow medical advice.

‘I’ll be honest – Jordan would go and play on one quad for England in a friendly next week,’ said Lampard.

‘We have to be sure that we do the right thing. I’ve spoken to Gareth and our physios and England’s physios are in conjunction together, making sure we do the right thing for Jordan.

‘And the right thing for Jordan is the right thing for Everton and England. Hopefully it will be in the next two or three weeks and he will be back, it’s as simple as that. We wouldn’t take any risks with him. If we did, it would affect our batch of games up to the winter break.’

There has been debate about who will start England’s first game in Qatar against Iran but given the esteem in which Southgate holds Pickford, the only thing that would stop him being picked was if he suffered a setback and Lampard has explained the dangers of doing too much, too soon.

‘If you were to re-injure the quad, it would obviously affect his run up to the World Cup,’ said the Everton manager.

‘So we are being very careful with that. We are working with Jordan and England. I learnt as a player the negatives of coming back too early.

‘I re-injured my quad a few times, trying to push my physio to get me back quicker. I’m now more experienced, so I can be on the other hand and make sure he does it in the right way.

‘The experts are the physios. He’s keen but he is very mature. He wants to play but we will find the right way.’

Lampard has confirmed that talks are on-going with Pickford’s representatives over securing a new long-term deal and that Everton are also in discussions with Anthony Gordon about a deal to keep him at the club following persistent interest from Chelsea.

‘It’s something we want to do,’ said Lampard. ‘We want to get the right solution.’


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here