Jordan Pickford aims to build on '˜dream' home debut for Sunderland
Jordan Pickford is set for an extended run in the Sunderland side after the elbow injury suffered by number one Vito Mannone.
The 22-year-old Washington-born keeper will start against Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
And Pickford is looking to build on his first clean sheet picked up on his home first-team debut at the Stadium of Light against Shrewsbury Town.
The Sunderland fan admits it was a dream come true to play in front of the fans he used to sit alongside.
“It is a dream to play at the Stadium of Light, as a young lad I used to come to games all the time,” said Pickford.
“Finally, to have achieved that dream is great.”
Last season, Pickford played against Arsenal in the FA Cup and Tottenham Hotspur and Watford in the Premier League - but those were all away from home.
Wednesday’s win over League One Shrews was his first game on home soil.
His catching and distribution - which helped lead to Adnan Januzaj’s winner - stood out, while he made a superb save from Newcastle United loanee Ivan Toney.
“It was great moment, for me,” said Pickford.
“A good result and I am happy to get my first clean sheet.
“The other games [against Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Watford] were hard and this was a tough test too.
“We got there in the end, though, and it is really good to get into the next round of the cup.”
Pickford looks set for an extended run in the side, with Mannone out with a troubling elbow injury.
There were fears that he had suffered a suspected fractured elbow after injuring his arm in training on Tuesday but the full extent of his injury is yet to be determined.
He is set to see a specialist, with Mannone suffering from a lot of swelling.
Paul Bracewell, assistant manager, said: “In terms of the bone, they said it wasn’t a fracture, but there’s still a lot of swelling there, so the scan will probably give us a good indication in terms of if there is any ligament damage.”
Jordan Pickford and Duncan Watmore have been selected for England Under-21 duty. They will face Norway in an U21 Euro qualifier against Norway at Colchester United’s Community Stadium on Tuesday 6 September (KO 5.45pm).