Koeman praises Pickford's stellar Everton start
Jordan Pickford has earned plaudits from Everton boss Ronald Koeman for helping preserve all three points against Stoke City.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman heaped praise on new signing Jordan Pickford after the goalkeeper played a key part in Saturday's season-opening win over Stoke City.
Wayne Rooney scored the only goal as the Toffees overcame a sluggish start to register a hard-earned 1-0 win at Goodison Park.
The result would have been different had Pickford not produced a stunning stoppage-time save to deny Xherdan Shaqiri, leaping to his left to push the Swiss star's goal-bound drive around the post.
Pickford's save preserved a clean sheet on his first Premier League appearance for Everton, a feat the 23-year-old also achieved on competitive debut in the Europa League.
"We know we brought in a really good goalkeeper," Koeman told Sky Sports.
"He dominated his area today, he's still young, and he had a great save on that [Shaqiri] shot. That's really important."
Despite the victory, Koeman admitted his new-look side was affected by nerves against a determined Stoke.
The visitors created the better of the first-half openings before Rooney's goal swung the momentum firmly into Everton's favour.
"It wasn't a good performance from our side," the Dutchman said.
"But it's the first [game] that has maybe brought nerves to the team and maybe some of the new signings.
"If you know that and you keep a clean sheet, you keep the three points at home, it's a perfect result."