Pickford reveals key to winning final
Jordan Pickford says Everton’s mentality was key to securing Sunday’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth, which also retained the club’s Premier League status.
The Everton and England goalkeeper has been a key player for the Blues throughout the season, representing Sean Dyche’s side’s indomitable character and never-say-die attitude on the dramatic final day.
Pickford believes the group’s mentality in their all-important win over the Cherries must carry over into next term.
“We talked about mentality early on, having a mentality and showing it, and I think we really did. Our attitude and dedication came through throughout,” Pickford said.
“In the first half, I just felt like we needed to add an extra 10 per cent and some quality to build the mentality.
“It’s been a tough couple of years. We’ve had a dog fight last year and this year, but we need character to get out of that.
“Over the course of the season we’ve conceded so many points that we shouldn’t have, we shouldn’t be in this position, but on the other hand, you can accept that role in the dressing room and believe in it – but, as As I said, we shouldn’t be in that situation.
“We need to look at things as a club, as a team, as a player, as a staff – to move forward as a whole and make sure we don’t get into this situation again.”
The Toffees went into half-time without a goal and, under pressure knowing Leicester’s victory over West Ham, Abdoulaye Doucoure’s superb strike 12 minutes after the break was enough to seal a very important three points for the Pickford believes his side’s overall performance deserves a reward.
“This is the boss’ goal!” he continued. “It was a great finish. I think we made it difficult for ourselves, and Doucs came up with a screamer instead of an easier chance for us to finish.
“You want the game to end and as a goalkeeper you can keep the ball out and keep a clean sheet and we did, so it was a good day.
“It got us over the line and it means a lot for the club and for us players and I think it shows that we fight for the fans.”
Pickford’s most important contribution of the afternoon came in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time when he blocked Matthias Wiener’s shot from the edge of the box.
While the nature of the cessation was crucial, the man himself remained humble afterward.
“The last save is a comfortable save and you should make it from a good height,” he added. “It was a good shot from the lad, a pure shot that made it easier for the keeper so I put the ball in a good area.”