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Allardyce defends Pickford after street fight


Sam Allardyce has defended England number one Jordan Pickford over the footage allegedly showing him caught up in a pub brawl over the weekend.

A series of videos have emerged apparently showing Pickford in the centre of a fracas outside a bar in Sunderland on Sunday.

The 23-year-old was said to be back in his hometown to watch the Black Cats lose to Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy final.

Everton have confirmed they are investigating the footage, which also shows people teasing Pickford with shouts of ‘butterfingers’ and other insults when he was inside the bar.

Pickford’s tussle follows separate events which saw former Liverpool and Leeds midfielder Gary McCallister put in hospital after being attacked by a member of public in Leeds city centre.

In response to that incident, ex-Tottenham man Jamie O’Hara told talkSPORT he no longer goes out in London out of fear he will be targeted by football fans.

And Big Sam agrees Pickford must be more careful about where he chooses to socialise in the future.

“Jordan has to learn from his mistakes,” Allardyce told talkSPORT on Tuesday’s Sports Breakfast.

“He is a fantastic goalkeeper, but Jordan is the goalkeeper he is because of his character.

“If you break that character, you may lose the player. The same was said about Roy Keane and his discipline – he won’t be the same player if you don’t allow him to be that person.

“Jordan’s character is that he likes to go out occasionally, but what he has to do is choose better places to go because there’s only one loser in situations like this, and that’s himself.

“It’s about where you go out now, and that will have taught him not to go into places like that, that when you decide to go out you pick a much better place suited for you and your wife and you don’t go out in the middle of town.

“I know this guy, I brought him back to Sunderland from a loan spell at Preston where he was outstanding, and then I looked after him at Everton too.

“He ended up getting into the England team and the World Cup team and with that he comes under more scrutiny, even at 23.”

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