Jordan Pickford reveals how Newcastle United fans 'got to him' as a Sunderland fan
Jordan Pickford has admitted that taunts from Newcastle United fans "got to him" at St James's Park.
Pickford was at fault as the club came from two goals down to beat Everton 3-2 at St James's Park earlier this month.
The former Sunderland goalkeeper "got involved" with fans at the stadium – and he has conceded that this was a mistake.
Pickford, blamed by some Everton fans for the defeat on Tyneside, has been speaking about his form ahead of England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Czech Republic tonight.
The 25-year-old said: "Apart from the Newcastle game, I think up until then I was doing well. With me being a Sunderland lad, in front of 52,000 Newcastle fans hurling abuse at you for the full game, maybe it did get to me a little bit too much.
“But I’m only 25, and I think as a learning curve for me. I think that’s how I can improve. Next time I go there, I won’t be getting involved as much.
“I would say that handling criticism is one of the strongest parts of my game. That's never going to distract me, and it doesn’t bother me.
“Sometimes, things don’t go right during a game, but that’s football. It’s all right, and I think everyone can have their own opinion.
“I think that all that matters is how I feel, my opinion, my coaches and the people around me, like my family. My dad's always asking me how I did, so criticism is always going to happen in any sport and I’m fine with it.
“It's about me becoming better as a goalkeeper. It’s not about the criticism I’m getting, it’s about how I can go to training and what I can do in training to become better for game day.
“I have done it in the game, so I don’t mind watching it back. I know if it’s a goalkeeping error or a misjudgement, I know what type of error it is after I've watched it back again.
“Sometimes, you don’t need telling or looking at it again if you know you have made that error, it’s about knowing how to improve and knowing how to then cancel those errors out.”