Carlo Ancelotti has told under-fire Jordan Pickford to trust his instinct…and stop thinking too much about his goalkeeping.
The Everton manager confirmed on Friday he will restore the England number one to his team to face Manchester United, after axing the keeper for the visit to Newcastle last week.
But the Italian wants Pickford to concentrate on improving his game…and not on the criticism and attention which swirls around him.
“He starts against Manchester United, yes,” the Blues boss said of Pickford. “I have no message for Jordan, I talked to him every day this week, we laughed and were together.
“He knows what to do on Saturday. I think sometimes he did a mistake because he thought too much. When he has to act, sometimes he does mistakes in that situation, but he is still a young goalkeeper with a lot of quality and there he can improve.
“He has to use his instinct, which is really good. When he reacts (instinctively), he is really top, top.”
Ancelotti also wants Pickford to continue to be himself, despite criticism from many quarters that he can wind himself to much before matches. And he told the keeper he has to ignore all the noise that surrounds him from critics.
“His mentality is good. He is a good guy, a funny guy, I don’t want to change his mentality or character,” the Everton manager added.
“He is still a young goalkeeper with a lot of quality…and character and personality. This is his character and it is difficult to change the character of people.
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“On the pitch he has to be focused on what he is doing, knowing his limit and also knowing where his quality is. I can judge him only on what he is doing in training, and the fact that he is focussed, concentrating in training means (he isn’t affected) by the rumours outside.
“I think it is important he is able with his character and his personality to manage the rumours outside.”
Ancelotti has James Rodriguez and Seamus Coleman back from injury, and he can also turn to Mason Holgate for the first time this season, after he recovered from a toe injury.
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