And it's why Croatia can end its remarkable World Cup trip by collecting its first major soccer trophy. "Time for one final push tomorrow and finish on a high!" The five weeks they have spent in Russian Federation have been a wonderful adventure that have re-established an affinity between the English public and its national team, but this defeat to Belgium was a reminder that for all the progress they have made they are still some way from the top.
Southgate reiterated comments he made on Friday that England should not get carried away.
"They didn't want to hide anything from us, and that is why that sanction was chosen".
Southgate is determined to paint a positive picture of England's tournament, despite the agony of missing out on their first final since 1966.
"The culture of our national team was in tatters, with players boycotting the shirt".
In early June, a mini-World Cup was organised for children attending football schools in Belgrade.
Now though, with the two sides set to lock horns once again - this time in Moscow - the 50-year-old former centre back is ecstatic with what the current crop of players has managed to achieve - on and off the field - in Russian Federation this year, already calling them heroes for what they've done.
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"The most important thing is to never give up, never give in to circumstances, believe yourself and to soldier on no matter what's in your way". We want to be challenging for semi-final and final.
Despite all the talent in their ranks, Croatia's place at the World Cup was in jeopardy as late as last October when Zlatko Dalic took over and Modric paid tribute to the impact the coach has had on the team.
Dalic's men have been forced to go through three periods of extra-time against Denmark, Russia and England to become the smallest country in 68 years to make the final. "I've always wanted to play out from the back and for my players to have a nice time and to touch the ball".
"They will concede they are not fit. If they will be unable to give their all during the match I expect them to tell me". "They have such an attitude".
From that point on, however, Kane failed to so much as register a shot on target in the win against Sweden and defeats to Croatia and Belgium, leaving Neville to question the player's fitness.
He said: "We do not insist on practice sessions". We need relaxation and rest.
"I couldn't ask any more of any of the players today or right the way through the seven weeks we've worked together".
"We have a such a good relationship that they will concede and say that I am not fit, I'm going to miss the final".