Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has spoken to goalkeeper Jordan Pickford about his patchy form but insists he is not worried.
The 26-year-old has come under scrutiny since the restart. His performance in Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at Wolves was the latest in a number of inconsistent displays which have questioned his role with England.
Ancelotti does not consider Pickford’s Everton place to be under threat.
However, he has no natural competition with veteran Maarten Stekelenburg on his way back to Ajax at the end of the season and Jonas Lossl currently on loan at Huddersfield.
But he nevertheless has had reason to talk to Pickford.
“I don’t know if he needs competition. I know that he is not doing well. I spoke with him. He’s not doing well,” the Italian said.
“He has to be focused on himself, on his performance, day-by-day to try to be better.
“I’m not so worried because he has quality, he has character but I have to say to him, and I said to him, that he has to improve.
“I don’t know if he feels pressure or doesn’t feel pressure. I think that pressure is a part of your job, you have to feel pressure but pressure can be a good gasoline for your job.”
“I have, and everyone else at the club, has total confidence in his quality,” Ancelotti added.
“It is true he can do better and he knows this because he is critical of himself. I hope there is improvement in the next games.
“I spoke to him yesterday about this. There is absolutely no problem. For the quality that he has, and he agreed, he has to be better.”
Everton face relegation-threatened Aston Villa at Goodison Park on Wednesday.