Jordan Pickford has revealed that England’s keepers have been making more than 100 saves a day to prepare for the Euros.
Pickford reckons he has produced between 500 and 700 saves this week, and his understudies Dean Henderson and Sam Johnstone have been doing the same, with coach Martyn Margetson.
Pickford said: “We train a lot of actions in the week for that one game, to then only have to make one save.
“I think working with Margy and the keepers this week we’ll rack up to 500 to 700 saves in training – and that’s just with the keeper coach.
“But it means that we’re prepared for anything come game day.”
Pickford was only two years old when David Seaman became England’s hero in Euro 96.
“My first memory of Seaman would have been, I think, in the 2002 World Cup,” Pickford said. “I remember that one – was that when Ronaldinho scored?”
England went out in the quarter-finals to eventual champions Brazil that year, after a Ronaldhino free-kick lobbed Seaman from 40 yards.
Six summers earlier, Gareth Southgate missed the penalty that saw the Three Lions crash out on home soil in a semi-final shoot-out against Germany.
Pickford himself has had near-misses – a semi-final defeat by Croatia in the 2018 World Cup followed by another last-four loss against Holland in the Nations Cup.
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But it is clear that Southgate’s squad are wary of not being burdened by the baggage of disappointment.
“We know the quality of the players Croatia have,” said Pickford. “But, for us, it’s about us preparing as much as we can, to be the best side we can.
“Three years ago, we were still a little bit inexperienced.
“We’ve got the tournament experience now – and it’s just about us performing.
“We’ve all been reminded about how big the Euros were in ’96 – and to have the opportunity to play three group games at Wembley now is just massive for the nation.”
England have to navigate a path through the group stages before Pickford can get the chance to again show his prowess in a penalty shoot-out.
When he saved a spot-kick against Colombia in Russia three years ago, it was the first time England had won a spot-kick showdown since Seaman excelled against Spain in Euro 96.
Pickford even stepped up to score from the spot when Southgate’s side claimed third place in the Nations League in a shoot-out against Switzerland.
“I’ll step up again if I’m called upon,” said Pickford.
“Hopefully, we don’t have to – but that’s what preparation is for. We’ll cover all corners to be at our best.”