Sunderland AFC goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, has stated that he is looking to impress England manager Gareth Southgate, after his experience with the England senior side.
Great learning experience
It has been a meteoric rise for the 22-year-old, after replacing the injured Vito Mannone and he hasn't looked back since. His performances for the Black Cats didn't go unnoticed as he was brought into the England set-up by then interim manager Southgate.
Pickford stated on the bench in the recent qualifiers against Scotland and Spain, and the 'keeper stated that he will be looking to impress for future opportunities in the first-team.
“I had a good week away with the England lads," Pickford told Sunderland Echo. "It was a really good learning experience and I got a good feel for it.”
"It was great to be training with and learning from Joe Hart and Tom Heaton every day and being involved in the team," he stated. “It was my first time at Wembley and I was on the bench."
“It is great for me from a learning point of view," the Washington-born keeper admitted. "I always want to get better and what an experience it was to be away with the national team."
“It certainly gave me a taste for more and I just have to keep working as hard as possible," he added. “I have the Euros in the summer with England Under-21s, so I don’t want to look past that."
Pickford concluded: “I want to be successful with the Under-21s and then hopefully go from there."
All is well
Pickford is one of many players that has been at the forefront of Sunderland's recent rise, and another one has been Patrick van Aanholt.
The Dutchman was withdrawn from squad for the 1-0 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur, with concerns that the Dutchman might have heart issues. But the full-back has been fine since, and Dutchman has declared that he is fit and well.
"The manager has played me every single minute since the incident that day at Tottenham," van Aanholt told Sky Sports News HQ. "I'm running up and down the pitch so everything is fine."
"Everyone who knows me knows there is nothing wrong with me - and there is nothing wrong with my heart either," he stated. "But you can see it hasn't affected me on the pitch since then."
"The manager has been good, he protects me and the other players," van Aanholt concluded. "I've shown what I am capable of. I can defend and attack - I am capable of everything."
Sunderland AFC will take on Leicester City at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, December 3 with kick-off at 3pm BST.