David Moyes backs Sunderland and England Under-21 keeper and challenges him to aim high
Moyes believes Pickford should have the England goalkeepers ahead of him in the pecking order in his sights over the coming months.
Sunderland this week completed the signing of goalkeeper Mika on a two-year deal from Boavista.
But England Under-21 international Pickford – who impressed against Southampton despite his late lapse – will remain in the team in place of the injured Vito Mannone.
Mika trained for the first time at the Academy of Light on Friday
When asked about the arrival of 25-year-old Mika, Moyes said: “I wanted competition.
“I wanted to make sure that Jordan didn’t think this was an easy ride for him and he can play anyway he likes.
“I want him to know that it is a big game now and you have to perform well to keep your position as well.
“But I have a lot of faith in him, he is a really highly regarded goalkeeper.
“England are struggling a little bit for goalkeepers at the moment, maybe Joe Hart is moving on a little bit, there is Fraser Forster coming in and Jack Butland at Stoke has done very well.
“I think Jordan should be setting his sights on them and saying they are my next target – they are the ones I have to get above.