Marco Silva has offered his backing to Jordan Pickford after the goalkeeper’s erratic performance at Newcastle last weekend.
The 25-year-old looked to let the emotion of the occasion get him as he returned to his native north-east.
He relished engaging in banter with the Newcastle fans, but that seemed to be at the expensive of concentration on the field as he gave away a penalty before later flapping at a shot that led the Magpies’ equaliser.
When asked about Pickford’s performance at St James’ Park at his pre-Chelsea press conference, Silva refused to criticise the former Sunderland man.
He told reporters:
“I don’t like to go particularly on one player. It’s not fair. I’m here [in the press conference] to give me face to you. My players are always behind me.
“I’m the first one to take responsibilities for my players on the pitch. It’s a matter of collective behaviour.
“I understand what people are saying about Jordan. Jordan has all my confidence, like my other goalkeepers.
“He has the confidence of the national team coach also. We are here to get him better every day.
“In some moments everybody is happy with you, in other moments people speak not so good things about you.
“It’s normal in football. They are the same people 8/9/10 months ago who were celebrating the good performances from Jordan.
“I want Jordan to keep working in the same way, with the same desire...with more emotional balance in some moments if he can do.”
Pickford’s erratic display led to some questioning whether he was suffering from a lack of competition and maybe needed some time out of the side to refocus on his game.
Again, those suggestions were shot down by Silva, though he was also keen to stress the merits of reserve goalkeepers Maarten Stekelenburg and Joao Virginia.
“Now you have 23 players. All of them are under consideration by the coach.
“It’s normal - not just with the defenders and midfielders, but with the goalkeeper the same.
“Jordan was our number 1 choice but I have the same confidence with Maarten and João.
“I have to take the decision again for the next match.”