Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was outstanding in their U21 defeat to Blackburn Rovers.

One positive coach Kevin Ball took from Monday's defeat was the performance of England U19 international goalkeeper Pickford who returned from his loan spell with Alfreton Town to feature.

"Jordan Pickford produced one of the best displays from a goalkeeper for a long time," Ball told

"Yes, he let the one under him for their second goal but his maturity was good, he stood out, his kicking was outstanding, he was coming for crosses and he was travelling the box to throw it out.

"I think it proves the point that if they're good enough then we do need to push them into the big wide world."