Wright’s praise for PNE goalkeeper

Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford
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BAILEY Wright hopes that Preston North End can hang on to the services of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford all season.

Centre-back Wright says the form of Pickford has played a big part in PNE’s run of five clean sheets, one which they will be looking to extend at Queens Park Rangers today.

He is on a season’s loan from Sunderland but they have a 10-day window in January when they can recall him.

New Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce was at Deepdale on Tuesday to watch Pickford play against Nottingham Forest.

Lilywhites defender Wright said: “Jordan has been brilliant for us.

“When you play as well as he has done, you are going to get noticed, whether by his own manager or other managers.

“I’m sure he will keep level-headed, keep doing what he has been doing and continue to develop into a great keeper.

“Hopefully we can keep Jordan here for as long as we can.

“He commands his box well and we have all seen how he kicks – he can boom a ball that is for sure.

“Jordan comes for crosses and his communication with the defenders is good, although his accent takes some getting used to!”

Pickford has played in all 18 of Preston’s Championship and Capital One Cup games this term, keeping clean sheets in half of them.

This is the sixth loan spell of his career and a next port of call seems likely to be Sunderland’s first-team.

He is the third young keeper who North End have borrowed in recent seasons, following in the footsteps of Declan Rudd and Sam Johnstone.

Wright has played in front of all three and all have greatly impressed him.

“We have been blessed with some really good keepers,” said Wright.

“Jordan, Sam and Declan are young keepers, while we’ve had Thorsten Stuckmann too.

“The three younger lads who have come in have all had something in common.

“They have come here to play as much as possible and are all winners.

“Having them in the squad has really added to the strength of it.

“Jordan, Sam and Dec have all been hungry to do well.

“Even though they were on loan and not contracted to us, they wanted to do well and be successful with us.”

North End assistant boss Glynn Snodin has echoed Wright’s thoughts on Pickford and his predecessors.

Snodin said: “Jordan has got better with each game, he’s matured.

“With the back three in front of him playing like they have been doing, he’s been feeling a lot more confident.

“We’ve had some good young keepers here who have done well for us.”

Asked if there had been contact from Sunderland about a recall for Pickford, Snodin said: “We’ve not heard anything and hopefully he will stay with is for the rest of the season.”