Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pickford Can Be New Heartbeat of the Black Cats

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pickford Can Be New Heartbeat of the Black Cats

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Brown Sports Writer steve.sports-brown@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE burgers will have to go. Then the moaning will end.

But the "extraordinary" Jordan Pickford can, David Moyes says, become the "heartbeat" of Sunderland.

Galvanise Wearside. Be a beacon with whom supporters identify, and gravitate towards. Be a local hero, Washington-born. There have not been enough of them at the Stadium of Light.

This one, adds Moyes, can get even better.

The Black Cats are second bottom of the Premier League. They are used to such environs. They travel to Liverpool on Saturday. Rampant Liverpool, second top.

Who might even want Pickford, along with Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and... you name it.

And no wonder. The boy becoming a man has got it all, and remains a wonderfullyunaffected, low-maintenance character. Still knocking back the burgers and kebabs but with a manager on his case about that, showing him the way, the way to the top, the Joe Hart way.

Moyes wants to keep him, build a team, his team, young and athletic and adventurous, around him.

This is why... "I keep nailing him," said the Scot, of a 22-year-old's diet.

"I look at Joe Hart, when Joe Hart came from Shrewsbury to Manchester City, and I am using that as a little bit of a guide for Jordan.

"If you look at Joe Hart's shape and size and where he is now, he is tall, lean, strong and mentally strong, which comes from being in a great physical condition. It comes from knowing you're the best.

"In my own ways, I'm trying to say 'If you want to be there, this is how you're going to have to do it'. I'm moaning at him every day.

"But Jordan, Jordan has got an awful lot of attributes and there's more improvement to come from him. He'll get better.

"You've seen the saves he's making at the moment which, for a young boy, is quite extraordinary. …

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