Carlo Ancelotti warns Jordan Pickford Robin Olsen will get more opportunities

By Damian Spellman, PA
·3-min read

Carlo Ancelotti has warned England keeper Jordan Pickford he will sit on the bench again despite promising him a return against Manchester United.

The 26-year-old was rested for Sunday afternoon’s 2-1 Premier League defeat at Newcastle after enduring a difficult few weeks, during which he hit the headlines for the challenge on Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk which left the defender needing knee surgery.

Sweden international Robin Olsen was handed a debut in his place at St James’ Park with Pickford having been assured he will return next weekend.

However, asked after the game if Olsen’s performance had complicated matters, Ancelotti said: “No, absolutely not. Why is it complicated? Not for me. For whom is it complicated?

“He played well and I can say to you he’s going to play again – but not for the game against United.

“In my career, I am used to rotating the goalkeepers. It happened at Real Madrid, it happened also at Napoli.

“It will not be the last time, of course. He can play in the Premier League, he can play in the cup. He is a goalkeeper that everyone trusts.

“This doesn’t mean that we don’t have trust in Jordan – we have a lot of trust in Jordan. There’s no doubt about this.”

Olsen’s bow ultimately ended in disappointment as he was beaten by Callum Wilson’s 56th-minute penalty, which was awarded for Andre Gomes’ challenge on the striker as the visitors defended a corner.

Wilson doubled his tally six minutes from time and although Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s eighth league goal of the campaign kept the game alive until the final whistle, there was no late salvation.

Ancelotti, who brushed off speculation linking him with a move for Real Madrid midfielder Isco, said: “The game changed when we gave them a penalty and after that, the game was difficult and complicated.

“We had a good reaction, but it was not good enough. After the first goal, the game is completely changed. It was exactly the same as what happened last week against Southampton.”

Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce, whose attempts to placate his critics are ongoing, was able to reflect once again on the wisdom of the club’s £20million summer swoop for Wilson, whose double took him to six league goals for the campaign, a tally which matched Jonjo Shelvey last season’s top scorer in the competition.

Bruce said: “He’s certainly value for money, already he’s value for money. I’m delighted. He’s been a terrific asset to us.

“The difference is the second goal. I think that’s the second or maybe third goal that he’s scored inside the six-yard box. He’s there and I think that’s the difference.

“The instinct he has is he wants to score a goal. He was upset that I took him off with five minutes to go, but he’s crucial to us because he’s given us that cutting edge which a goalscorer has.

“To have six already, I think, matches our top-corer last year, so you can imagine what kind of lift it’s given to everybody.”