The Three Lions are the lowest scorers left in tournament, with only four goals in as many matches, but go into Saturday’s quarter-final against Ukraine as the only side yet to concede.
Their Wembley record is even more incredible. The last time they conceded a European Championship goal there – in qualifiers or tournament play – was when Jordan Henderson put through his own net against Slovenia in November 2014, although Saturday will be their only Euro 2020 game elsewhere.
Goalkeeper Pickford is keen to stress the collective effort.
“I’m proud of the resilience of the whole team,” he said after Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Germany. “We’ve based ourselves on clean sheets and given ourselves the opportunity to score goals.
“From Harry Kane all the way back to myself we worked relentlessly, we kept going and when the opportunities came we took them.”
There is a real Yorkshire feel to England’s defensive base, with manager Gareth Southgate reinstating the back three of Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire who led them to the last World Cup semi-finals. Leeds United’s homegrown midfielder Kalvin Phillips is one of two whose job is to protect them.
Barnsley, who produced locally-born Stones, can even take some credit for wing-back Kieran Trippier, who had two Oakwell loans between 2010 and 2011. Much as the players in front of him deserve credit for ensuring he has only had to make seven saves in four matches, the quality of the two made by Pickford – on loan at Bradford City in 2013-14 – against Germany to deny Timo Werner and Kai Havertz was high.
“I’ve just got to be in the moment,” he said. “I just help the team as much as I can. Whether I play good or bad I give 100 per cent all the time to be the best I can on a matchday.
“The crowd thought I did well with the two saves but I also just tried to take the sting out the game by coming for crosses when 2-0 up. We need to keep it going for Saturday now.”