England's World Cup bid driven by disappointment of previous near-misses, says Pickford

By Sports Desk June 01, 2022

Jordan Pickford has revealed England's defeats in the 2018 World Cup semi-final and Euro 2020 final have provided added motivation ahead of Qatar 2022.

Everton goalkeeper Pickford has been a key man in the most successful England team since becoming world champions in 1966.

But tournament glory has still evaded the Three Lions, who let early leads slip to Croatia in the last four in Russia and Italy in last year's Wembley decider.

The penalty shoot-out loss in the Euros final was particularly painful in front of a home crowd, yet Pickford is confident that experience can benefit Gareth Southgate's side.

"Yes," Pickford replied when asked if England can win the World Cup this year.

"Obviously it is going to be challenging against the best teams in the world, but it is about us having belief in ourselves.

"We've come so far and had the disappointment in the World Cup semi-final and Euro final – that disappointment drives us. The disappointment is getting so close and losing, getting to the final and losing.

"We are proud of what we achieved, but when you get that close, it gives you that added extra confidence to go and win the World Cup."

Pickford was the only England player to play every minute of their Euros campaign, just as he had been at the World Cup, but he faces fierce competition for his place in Qatar in November.

Rival Aaron Ramsdale impressed many onlookers in his first season at Arsenal – including Pickford.

"Rams has had a really good season – first season at Arsenal, and he's been unbelievable," the former Sunderland man said.

"But for me, it's always concentrating on yourself as well. I know I've got to be at my best every day in training, because you're always going to have that competition, for England and at club level as well.

"You've always got to keep pushing yourself and keep setting yourself targets and become better and get better.

"You want other people playing well, you want other people pushing, so I think when we're training together, we're pushing each other every day to get better and better.

"When you've got three lads, pushing each other to be the best, it sets you up to do well."

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