PNE stopper is a bedrock of the team

Jordan Pickford

Jordan Pickford

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Jordan Pickford has quickly developed into one of the ‘bedrocks’ of Preston North End’s team, according to his keeper coach Alan Kelly.

Pickford has continued to make good progress as the Lilywhites’ No.1 shot-stopper, impressing Kelly with his work both in games and training.

At the moment he is with the England Under-21s squad preparing for their Euro 2017 qualifier against Kazakhstan in Coventry next week.

PNE goalkeeper coach Kelly told the Evening Post: “Jordan is developing into a fantastic keeper for us.

“He has stepped-up a division after being at Bradford for much of last season and has grown up a bit more in terms of his goalkeeping.

“We see him as one of the bedrocks of the team now which is very good at his relative young age.

“Jordan does not have any fear when he plays, it is almost a youthful disrespect for fear.

“You see that in some young players, Wayne Rooney was the same as a kid.

“Watching the documentary on Rooney during the week reminded me how fearless some young players can be.

“I played against him for Blackburn reserves when he was in Everton’s reserves.

“This young kid gave me the eyes and smashed one in off the post past me.

“Certain players have that lack of fear about them when they are coming through.

“Moving back to Jordan we have got a player at a good age profile and with the determination to develop into a top-class player.

“We will keep working hard with him here to make sure that development continues.

“He is with England at the moment, the Under-21s play next week.

“Hopefully Jordan will do well with the international team and then we will welcome him back here to start working towards our next game.

“We will all be working hard to get things right on the pitch and get us moving up that table.

“I believe that we are close in terms of starting to move in the right direction again.”

Another of North End’s international players, Bailey Wright, will be back with the squad after the weekend after getting another start for Australia.

The centre-half played in the Socceroos’ 2-0 defeat to Jordan in Amman.

He was substituted after 76 minutes with the scoreline 1-0 as Australia put an extra striker on.

It was Wright’s third start in a row for his country and he is steadily establishing himself in the international set-up.

The Jordan game was their only game of this international break, meaning an earlier return.

Having missed the defeat to Sheffield Wednesday through suspension, Wright will go straight back into the side against Cardiff a week today.

His return is a much-needed one, with Paul Huntington still recovering from a hamstring strain, while Paddy McCarthy was injured 10 minutes into his Preston debut.