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Moyes unveils British blueprint for rebuild; Pickford discusses leaving Sunderland

David Moyes has been talking about his plans for a rebuild this summer and says it will be built on an ethos to match the club he's in charge of. And Jordan Pickford was on Football Focus at lunch time discussing his love for the club he's grown up at, but also about his future ambitions which may have to be met away from Sunderland.

Barcelona v Arsenal - UEFA Champions League Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

No more cheap foreign imports

David Moyes says his Sunderland rebuild will continue this summer with players who understand what it means to pull on a red-and-white shirt:

I would like players who understand this region and this part of the world. I would love to say I could actually fulfil that, but I can't promise.

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

And the Sunderland manager suggested that his squad will develop with less reliance on foreign imports and a renewed focus on British football at its core:

This region is more suited to British-type players. That should be the starting point - to get back to those roots.

Although Moyes comments recently on the concept of Britishness - when he dropped record-signing Didier Ndong for successive matches for seemingly not being built of Blighty-character - attracted wide-spread mockery, it's difficult to criticise this vision.

Manchester United v Sunderland - Premier League
Didier Ndong against Manchester United earlier this season
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Whilst the Brexit debate rumbles on and Sunderland as a city has found itself unfairly held up as embodying those eager for a final departure from the European Union, the football club on Wearside remains built on certain core values.

The Stadium of Light crowd - and the Roker Park ones of yore - have always demanded and appreciated effort, passion and fight. Call them Britishness, call them what you will.

And reams of footballers have entered our world in recent years lacking all three of those minimum standards. And quite a few of them have been on the pitch this season too.

Sunderland v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Before we mock Brexit-Dave for his latest jolly-England comments, perhaps he really does have a point.

Jordan Pickford on Football Focus

One of the few bright spots in a dismal campaign, 23-year-old Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will have a host of admirers in the summer. Already called up to the England senior squad, the Washington-born stopper has been exceptional in his breakthrough season.

AFC Sunderland  v Borussia Dortmund  - Friendly Match Photo by Deniz Calagan/Getty Images

Pickford was on Football Focus at lunch time talking about his Wearside roots and desire to see his boyhood club maintain their fading Premier League status, telling the BBC,

We're not in the best position at the moment, we've got 8 games to go, as a fan growing up as a Sunderland lad I want to be in the Premier League with Sunderland.

Asked why this season has been so difficult, Pickford admitted the struggle has taken him by surprise:

We don't know what the problem is. We're digging in each day in training - I don't think we're far away from getting results, Jermain [Defoe] hasn't had that chance to get a goal in the last few games.

But he thinks there's still hope, particularly with the inspirational captain back in midfield who's led previous escapes,

We're playing better football and Catts is back. He's been a massive miss for us. Just in training and every day he's a quality leader. We have to keep going.

Talking about his youth as a supporter in the stands at the Stadium of Light, Pickford said:

I was a season ticket holder when I was younger, in the South West corner - in the crazy corner - it was a massive feeling when you got off the bus and walk over the bridge, it just has a vibe about it. The pride and the passion as a fan base we've got, we need to be in the Premier League.

Pickford also revealed his hero as a kid was Kevin Ball and recounted getting his photograph taken with the former skipper at the Charlie Hurley Centre, Sunderland's old training ground when he was a child.

Groningen v Sunderland
Pickford as a 17-year-old with former Sunderland youngster Ryan Noble back in 2012
Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

And on his future and with each of the top six in the Premier League all credited with an interest in his signature this summer, Pickford talked about moving on from the club he has grown up at:

Growing up as a lad in the community, it would be one of the hardest things in my life to leave the club I've been at since I was 7,8 years old. I can't think about leaving yet. I'm at Sunderland now and it's down to us to perform and there'll be nothing better than to be in the Premier League next season with Sunderland.

But Pickford also discussed his personal ambitions which are unlikely to met if the Black Cats drop into the Championship:

I've got ambitions and I want to be the best I can be and that's to be in the Premier League as well.

Sadly with Sunderland incapable of building a team to match his quality, supporters probably have mere weeks left to enjoy one of our own representing us in goal.

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

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