England’s likely #1
The boyhood Sunderland fan endured a torrid afternoon last weekend at Newcastle, where he engaged in a running exchange with home supporters and made a couple of high-profile errors.
Silva refused to single out Pickford’s display at St James’ Park, where Everton squandered a two-goal lead to lose 3-2, as he called for collective improvement.
Ahead of this weekend’s Premier League visit of Chelsea, Silva said: “I don’t like to go on particularly one player. I think it’s not fair.
“I’m the first one here and my players are always behind me because I’m the first one to take all the responsibilities of what my players are doing on the pitch.
“We knew before the match, he knew also when he played there at Newcastle, the atmosphere is always not the same to him.
“I can remember when he played here at home against Newcastle what the fans of Newcastle tried to do with him and he answered well.
“I understand everything that people are saying about Jordan. Jordan has all my confidence, like Maarten (Stekelenburg) and Joao Virginia, our goalkeepers.
“What I want in Jordan is to keep working in the same way with the same desire, improving what we have to improve with him, with more emotional balance in some moments if he can do.
“We as a team have to be different also. We have to react in a different way because if you look to the goals we conceded, we must do different in that moment.”
Pickford was one of England’s star men on their surprise run to the World Cup semi-finals last year, brilliantly saving a penalty in the shootout win over Colombia in the last 16.
Pickford, Rice & Co.
England’s current squad
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He has been named in England’s squad for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against the Czech Republic and Montenegro and is likely to remain Gareth Southgate’s first choice.
Silva added: “He has the confidence of the national team coach which is really important also.
“He has to understand during one career that in some moments everybody is happy with you, the other moments some people speak not good things about you. It’s normal in football.
“These people now are maybe writing or saying something about him, they are the same people that eight, nine or 10 months ago were celebrating the good performances of Jordan.”
Silva defended his own conduct at the full-time whistle last Saturday, when he confronted referee Lee Mason and his assistants on the pitch due to a couple of contentious decisions going against Everton.
He is currently awaiting the outcome of a Football Association charge for improper conduct but Silva felt he did not act in an aggressive or disrespectful manner towards the officials.
He said: “I didn’t receive the answer yet. Of course, what they say to me or what they did, I’m here to respect. I ask them and now I’m waiting.
“In that moment I wasn’t happy, first of all with ourselves and with some decisions, also. But I never was aggressive, never disrespectful with the referee.
“I didn’t use abusive words or something like that and in that moment I wasn’t happy with the two decisions. I was clear with what I said to the referee and to the assistant about the situation.”