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Jordan Pickford makes his plans clear as he responds to argument with Stones

Jordan Pickford has insisted he will carry on hitting long balls – even though it winds up his defenders.

Pickford and John Stones had several ding-dongs during the Croatia game with the Manchester City defender insisting the England keeper should play out from the back.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate sprang to Pickford’s defence and said his team should not be “football snobs” as he insisted they should play the long ball game when needed.

England keeper Pickford has also insisted he wants to carry on bypassing the midfield and going long to the striker – but says next time he wants to be more accurate.

Jordan Pickford and John Stones argued about distribution during England’s victory over Croatia

Pickford said: “It was just, obviously from the goal kick, while the goalkeeper is in charge, I like to see the full picture and sometimes it just felt like they were waiting to press us at certain times. And I felt like the better decision was to go longer.

“You have a bit of game sense and a bit of knowledge of target areas but it’s down to my decision and making sure I make the right one.

“For me, I always say, make the right decision. Whatever decision I make, as long as it’s the right one, whether it’s a short pass to the centre-half or a clip into the full-back, or if it’s in the next line or into H [Harry Kane] up top.

“Just making sure I make the right one and it’s executed to perfection. Hopefully it’ll be a bit more accurate in the next game.

“Harry does it very well, and Dominic’s got that big presence about him, where he can get a flick on and hold it up and get more bodies around him, so he knows when I’m going long so he’s always ready for it.”

Pickford did admit that his long clearances had not been accurate enough – but insisted he will put in extra training to make sure he is better against Scotland.

He added: “We do a lot of work and it’s about me being able to have that vision, see the passes and execute that. For me on Sunday against Croatia, a few too many weren’t well-placed enough for my standard so I’ll be doing a bit of extra work this week to be ready for Friday.”




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