Premier League • England

Jordan Pickford confident of Everton survival after noticing major triple change in fortunes

Jordan Pickford, Everton v Chelsea May 2021

Jordan Pickford has backed Everton to avoid relegation from the Premier League because their character, effort and team spirit has returned.

The Toffees have found themselves in trouble at the bottom end of the top-flight table for a while now. What’s more, with Burnley making progress with their games in hand, Everton’s task has become harder.

However, they responded by beating Manchester United at Goodison Park in April. And after Burnley went five clear of Frank Lampard’s side last Saturday, Everton had to close the gap against Chelsea.

Amid doubt over where the points would come from at the back end of the season, the Toffees pulled another result out of the bag against Chelsea.

Richarlison got the winner but England goalkeeper Pickford was vital at the other end in keeping the clean sheet.

The 28-year-old told the Liverpool Echo of Everton’s situation: “It is going to be hard work over the final five games and it is on us as a team to keep working on the training pitch every day, giving 100-per-cent effort and commitment.

“If we do that, the quality will come. Richarlison worked hard for 45 minutes against Chelsea and had a couple of chances, then he got his reward with the goal in the 46th minute, because he’d continued working hard.

“Our character and effort and team spirit drove us on and, with the fans behind us like they were, it was incredible.

“They are very passionate and we are as players, too. To get that buzz on the bus [ when fans greeted team coach on Goodison Road ] is a great feeling, it touches you.

“It was about us putting on a performance and making sure the fans went home happy. I am a very passionate person and the result means to the world to me.”

Pickford, Everton still have relegation problem

Jordan Pickford celebrates for Everton

Despite what looked like unlikely wins against Manchester United and Chelsea, Everton are not clear of relegation yet.

They still have to go to Arsenal on the final day. The Gunners could well be fighting for a top-four place at the other end of the table.

In between, Leicester on Sunday and Crystal Palace on May 19 will present tough challenges.

Brentford at Goodison Park and Watford away are Everton’s other remaining fixtures.

And given the Blues’ wins from seemingly nowhere, they will have extra confidence in staying up.

Burnley are also not clear of the drop, with Leeds also in trouble as it stands.