Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti says he has “total confidence” in Jordan Pickford despite his latest below par performance.
The England No 1, who made a series of high-profile errors last season, was at fault for two goals by Fleetwood Town as Everton made comfortable Carabao Cup progress in midweek. But Ancelotti is standing by his goalkeeper.
“He started the season really well,” said Ancelotti. “There is a lot of focus on him, but I have been honest. He did a fantastic match against Tottenham. When he makes a mistake I am the first who says he made a mistake because he has to understand. But I am not really focused on him, like you.
“For me, he is a great goalkeeper. He could do better in the game against Fleetwood, but also the defenders could do better. That’s it. He has my total confidence.”
While Pickford retains his manager’s faith, Ancelotti has set goal targets for his strikers Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, suggesting the duo should be aiming for 20 goals apiece this season now they have the supply provided by his new look midfield.
“I think James Rodriguez is going to help,” said Ancelotti. “He is going to help the strikers because he is a fantastic assist man. I hope Dominic can reach 20 goals because he has the quality and possibility. Like Richarlison. They are two fantastic strikers and behind them we have Andre Gomes, James, [Gylfi] Sigurdsson. I think our strikers have to be happy because behind are three fantastic assist men.
“I think if they don’t score at least 20 each they can have a problem with me. I said to them you have to score at least 20 goals each.
“If I played striker and I had James, Gomes, Sigurdsson, I would score goals. It is the truth! With James at Madrid, Ronaldo scored 56 goals. I am not going to ask Dominic to score 56 but he has to try to do his best.”