England takes on Croatia on Wednesday in the second World Cup semifinal, with the victor advancing to Sunday's big game against France. "And we have a great opportunity now to get to a World Cup final". "I've been involved in all the plans really, right through the age groups", he said.
Perhaps even more significantly, most of the team have been together for a decade but are peaking now and brimming with motivation for their first semi-final since 1998.
Southgate's plan has worked so far, so much so that an influx of England fans is anticipated in Moscow on Wednesday - many of them have bought into "Waistcoat Wednesday" in tribute to Southgate's World Cup outfit.
After a weekend of dramatic quarterfinal action that saw each game decided in a completely different manner, the 2018 World Cup is down to its final four.
The goalkeeper struggled with a muscle injury during Croatia's quarter-final victory over Russia, Subasic needing treatment in extra-time before a heroic performance in the penalty shoot-out.
Lovren has been a defensive rock for Croatia at this tournament, however, and with his partner Domagoj Vida will be confident of shackling Kane and preventing him from adding to his tally of six goals at the tournament.
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The center-back will be key to limiting England's threat from set pieces and will be a useful weapon in the opposition box, too.
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Despite the prospect of England reaching a first World Cup final since lifting the trophy on home soil in 1966, the squad looked relaxed during the open section of their morning session. It's important that we do our best on the pitch. After winning Group D, Croatia beat Denmark and Russian Federation in penalty kicks to get to this point, while England knocked out Colombia in the round of 16 in penalties before taking down Sweden in the quarterfinals. - Mario Mandzukic assisted Andrej Kramaric's goal against Russian Federation in the quarterfinal - he has been involved in four goals at the World Cup finals for Croatia (3 goals, 1 assist), with only Davor Suker involved in more (6).
Strong, mobile, indefatigable and good in the air, Mandzukic looks to make life as hard as possible for the defence, stretching play to allow the likes of Modric the space they need to get into the danger zone around the box.
The calmness in England's camp on and off the field is in stark contrast to Croatia's experience.
The captain was the man of the match again in the penalty shootout win over Russian Federation in Sochi at the weekend.