Southgate, who was in the last England side that reached the semifinal of their last major tournament (Euro 1996), has carried a young and vibrant team to Russian Federation but worked his charm with the players ahead of the World Cup.
Croatia & England will meet on Wednesday evening, with a place in the World Cup finals on the line. It will be another very tough match for us, a great challenge.
England, who made an early impression with a 6-1 crushing of Panama in the group stage, then overcame their shootout hoodoo in beating Colombia in the last 16 and looked composed and mature in the 2-0 quarterfinal victory over Sweden.
En route to the semi-final, Croatia have scored in every game so far, netting at least two in four of their five (three in normal time) with eight unique goalscorers, the second highest at the tournament behind Belgium (nine).
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Excitement has reached fever-pitch levels in England, as the country dreams of Southgate's team emulating the achievement of Alf Ramsey's side more than half a century ago. England are one of the favourites to win the World Cup and you have to respect that.
The Tottenham star will certainly be the focal point of England's attack once again and, after a quiet game in the quarter-final win over Sweden, will be determined to get back on track. They had to go through extra time and penalties in both knockout matches against Denmark and Russian Federation but emerged successful in the end to reach the semifinals. Skipper Harry Kane is at the top of the race for Golden Boot with six goals. The more big games we're involved and the more they come out successful in, the more belief it will build.
On the other side of the fence, Mosman Park's Western Knights Soccer Club are equally fired up to watch Croatia in action.
The Three Lions' only global title is the 1966 World Cup victory on home soil. "I feel they're a fantastic team, working for each other and together, which is why they're in a semifinal of a World Cup". Otherwise, England have no fitness issues going into the last-four.
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Despite that, Modric's three man-of-the-match performances and two winning penalties from Rakitic in shootout wins over Denmark and Russian Federation have seen them match Croatia's best-ever World Cup performance 20 years ago in France.
"I've played against Modric a few times: he's a world-class player, one of the best I've played against".
The calmness in England's camp on and off the field is in stark contrast to Croatia's experience.
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The Gunners hero came back with a positive report but revealed Arsenal were concerned about the player's mobility. At 22, Alli became the second-youngest scorer for England at a World Cup behind Michael Owen.
The captain was the man of the match again in the penalty shootout win over Russian Federation in Sochi at the weekend.