England boss Gareth Southgate impressed by Jordan Pickford's display in Holland
- Author: Julie Sanders Mar 25, 2018,
Mar 25, 2018, 2:09
Pickford impressed in November's goalless draw with Germany and he will get a chance to shine once more when Ronald Koeman - the man who sanctioned a £30million move for the former Sunderland keeper while manager at Everton - takes charge of his country for the first time.
With that in mind Southgate raised eyebrows with some selections for the final game on foreign soil before heading to Russian Federation, but England looked confident against one of the most notable World Cup absentees as Lingard's maiden goal secured their win.
The 20-year old has played in 10 of England's last 11 matches; the last six on the bounce. "He played really well against Germany in November and it's another good opportunity for us to see him in another worldwide game".
It was a friendly and that - the theory goes - is what they are there for.
"That starts on the training ground and in the gym and also the nutritional side of the game, to give myself the best opportunity to became the best I can be".
We are into spring of a World Cup year and that attacking freedom still refuses to blossom, but Jesse Lingard's first worldwide gave the whole experiment a timely sprinkling of confidence and who knows what can emerge by the summer.
Southgate said he was also keeping the door open for Crystal Palace midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
"I can remember speaking with Harry McGuire after his first game with us", Southgate said.
"The defenders and goalkeepers are capable of using the ball well. So if we have people like Kyle and Eric [Dier] who can slot in, it may allow us to take more attacking players".
"The profile of all of that defence and goalkeeper allowed us to do that".
Henderson may still face questions about whether he offers enough creatively in England's midfield but his manager clearly has no doubts about his credentials as a leader and influence.
The visitors enjoyed a positive start to the encounter, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lingard going close in the opening 15 minutes.
"I know who it would be if we played tomorrow but I think we've still got plenty of football to be played", he said.
"We have good competition for places because if you look at possible No.8s, Lallana comes into that as well", added Southgate.
"We need to look at something a little bit different maybe Tuesday just to see as numerous different players in different roles as we can before we name the squad". The likes of Burnley duo Nick Pope and James Tarkowski, along with Swansea centre-back Alfie Mawson will be hopeful of Three Lions debuts.
"The aim will be will make some changes", Southgate said.