Jordan Pickford takes a cheeky swipe at Adnan Januzaj after being mocked by Belgium during the World Cup

The England No1, 25, was criticised by Thibaut Courtois for being "too short" to save Januzaj's incredible group-stage goal.

Pickford also came in for condemnation from Lee Dixon and Gary Neville amongst others for failing to reach the curling wonder-strike.

But the Everton stopper has hit back at the criticism… and had a pop at his former Sunderland team-mate in the process.

Speaking of the Belgium abuse, Pickford told the Daily Mail: "My mental side of the game is really strong. It doesn't affect me.

"Anyone can slate me if they want to. I know if I have played well or badly. I always ask my dad and he tells me straight.


"Other people don't affect me. It's just about me becoming better. I still call my old goalkeeper coach, Mark Prudhoe at Sunderland, and he's very honest with me.

"On Adnan's goal, it's instinct. You have a split second. It's like boxing.

"If you go with a left hook, he might come over the top and surprise you with a right hook.

"My reactions are good. It was such a small margin and if I had saved it, everyone would have been saying, 'What a worldy save!'

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"People will criticise me because I am on the top stage. But that's where I want to be.

"It was an unbelievable effort by Adnan… it's just a pity he couldn't do that when he was at Sunderland!"

Pickford and Januzaj spent one season together at Sunderland – in 2016-17 – with the Black Cats finishing dead-last in the Premier League after an abysmal season.

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