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Pickford vs Ramsdale: England boss explains decision to avoid goalkeeping change

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Gareth Southgate appeared to back the Everton keeper in retaining his starting spot in the Three Lions lineup.

England defeated Switzerland 2-1 in a friendly game on Saturday. Goals from Luke Shaw and Harry Kane Harry Kane completed the Three Lions’ comeback while Breel Embolo scored for the guests.

Despite having several surprise choices in his lineup, Gareth Southgate decided to keep Jordan Pickford between the posts. He did not have Pickford’s closest rival, Aaron Ramsdale, at his disposal. 

However, the English boss went on to praise Pickford for his solid performance amid growing competition for the team’s number one spot.

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“He’s always played well for us and he has a good focus with us,” Southgate told a news conference.

“He has a very good relationship with [goalkeeper coach] Martyn Margetson, who I think does an excellent job with him. So, he knows the structure around him. He knows clearly how we want him to play.

“There is competition for everybody’s position and that’s what we want. We don’t want people just sitting, thinking confidently that there’s no competition that doesn’t help a team.

“I think the form of the other goalkeepers is important. But he showed again, big saves at important moments.”

Ramsdale has shown brilliant form since joining Arsenal last summer. The 23-year-old is fighting for a place in England’s lineup ahead of the Qatar World Cup. 

However, Pickford’s performances amid Everton’s recent crisis has led many to believe that England will need his experience more than what Ramsdale offers.