'I thrive off the pressure': Pickford says he's ready for possible penalties against Netherlands

Jordan Pickford said practice and rehearsals were "perfect" going into the quarter-final match on Sunday, ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott reports

England player Jordan Pickford says he "loves the pressure" when the stakes are high ahead of England's semi-final clash with the Netherlands on Wednesday.

"I think that's when I'm at my best," he added.

Pickford’s save from Manuel Akanji helped England beat Switzerland into the Euro 2024 semi-final as the game went to penalties after a 1-1 draw in extra time.

Pickford's water bottle during the game featured a list of the Swiss penalty takers and notes as to how they'd typically play their shots.

Goalkeepers have got to have a "different type of mentality", Pickford said

"People handle it differently, people have nerves - nerves are a good thing as well. I thrive off the pressure."

Asked what would happen if the game goes to another penalty shoot out, Pickford shrugged, smiled, and said "here we go again".

"[It'll be a] tough game against the Dutch on Wednesday and we can't look past them yet, but we know where we want to be and we know what we want to achieve. But game by game - I've said that from game one in the group stages."

"We believe in ourselves but we've got to deliver on the night," he added.

He said that on a scale of one to ten, he enjoys penalty shootouts "ten", and that he had had "no doubt" that England would beat Switzerland on penalties.

When asked to describe the best thing about being England's number one in a word, Pickford said "passion".

"I love being passionate, I'm a passionate person and having the honour to play for your country and being number one... [it's a] dream come true."

Gareth Southgate's team got all five penalties on Sunday, scored by Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney, and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Pickford is among the players who have spent the most amount of time on the pitch during the Euros, having played 539 minutes on the field including stoppage time.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford reacts during the UEFA Euro 2024 quarter-final match. Credit: PA

England left-back Luke Shaw meanwhile said on Monday that he is feeling good ahead of Wednesday's match.

"I feel fit and ready to go," he said.

The 28-year-old has suffered a string of injuries that saw him miss out on on early Euro 2024 games, but he returned to the pitch to play Switzerland.

“The last four months have been really tough,” the Euro 2020 final goal scorer said.

“I think obviously, at the start I was expected to come back a lot sooner but, you know, I went through quite a few setbacks, to be honest. But I’m here now and it was really nice to get on the other night."

When asked about the vulnerabilities of the Netherlands, Shaw didn't list any weaknesses.

"To be honest I don't think they've got any," he said. "Their team is a very top team, a really good coach, and I think it's going to be a very, very tough game."

He also commented on the backlash faced by England manager Gareth Southgate in recent weeks.

"To be honest I don't really understand the criticism... No manager's really been as successful as what he's been doing recently

"Us as players, we love him... He's exactly what we need," he added.

"[Southgate] knows exactly how to manager his players, and it's clear as day to me why the squad is how it is."

"Game by game we've been getting better, definitely... It's coming to the crunch time now."

England play the Netherlands in the Euro 2024 semi-final at 8pm on Wednesday.

You can watch coverage of the match live on ITV1 and ITVX from 6.30pm.

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