Jordan Pickford reveals who must solve England's defensive concerns

Jordan Pickford reveals who must solve England's defensive concerns

Jordan Pickford has emphasised that England's success at Euro 2024 hinges on their ability to defend as a cohesive unit, with the goalkeeper openly acknowledging the nation's vulnerabilities.

This summer, much of the spotlight has been on the Three Lions' attacking prowess, with pundits and supporters emphasising the need for England to rely on outscoring opponents due to perceived weaknesses in their backline.

Harry Maguire, a stalwart figure for England in past competitions, was omitted from Gareth Southgate's squad due to injury, while his Manchester United teammate Luke Shaw - the squad's only natural left-back - has not played competitively since February.

Consequently, Newcastle's Kieran Trippier will switch to the left-back position, and Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi will step in to replace Maguire at centre-back in Germany.

Ahead of the Three Lions' clash with Serbia on Sunday, Everton's Pickford remarked: "We need to work as a unit. I would say that is the key factor, working as a unit, instead of talking about the back four and the keeper.

"To get to a final and win a tournament, you have to have a good clean sheet record - or as the keeper coach says, zeroes and ones get you so far.

"For us it’s about getting as many clean sheets as we can because everyone in the room knows the ability we’ve got up front."

It remains uncertain whom Southgate will deploy either side of Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham in the middle of their attack, both seemingly assured of their spots after stellar debut seasons at Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, respectively.

The midfield duo is expected to consist of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Declan Rice, with Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Cole Palmer fighting for the other forward spots.