Jose Mourinho has urged England’s coaches to try to put Jordan Pickford at ease ahead of Sunday’s mammoth Euro 2020 final against Italy.
The Three Lions made history on Wednesday, reaching their first major final since 1966. Harry Kane, who has sprung to life as the tournament has progressed, won the day with his penalty against Denmark. Meanwhile, Mikkel Damsgaard’s sumptuous free-kick was the first goal England have conceded in the tournament.
Several players stood out in the semi-final, including Raheem Sterling – who won the spot-kick – and right-back Kyle Walker.
However, goalkeeper Pickford endured a shaky evening. He faced criticism for failing to save Denmark’s goal, while he gave the ball away cheaply.
As such, speaking to talkSPORT (via YouTube), Mourinho stressed that Everton stopper Pickford is the only player he would have concerns about for Gareth Southgate’s men.
“He was the only one who showed signs of not being at the top of his game. That urgency of playing immediately,” the Roma manager said.
“The guy has to relax and calm down. Between him and the other keepers and the coaches to try to relax him.
“The biggest thing about a keeper is not to make impossible saves but to not make silly mistakes. Don’t create instability.
“If you feel pressure, don’t try to play out from the back, kick it long. Don’t put your team under pressure.”
Nevertheless, Pickford has done more than enough over the tournament to keep his place in the team.
Jack Grealish was another player who faced a turbulent semi-final. After coming on as a substitute in the second half, he came off again for Kieran Trippier, as Southgate protected his side’s 2-1 lead.
Pundits praised manager Southgate for his bold call, one of many he has made throughout the tournament.
Mourinho makes Man Utd claim
Away from his punditry role, Mourinho has a big job to do after becoming Roma’s new manager.
He held his first press conference on Thursday and used it to take aim at his previous jobs at Manchester United and Tottenham.
Indeed, he hit out at the fact that both his spells were considered “disasters”.
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