Gareth Southgate has nation preparing for Waistcoat Wednesday

Russia Soccer WCup Russia Croatia

"It's not the same if you play 90 minutes twice and 120 minutes twice, but I believe we've had ample time to recover and we're professional enough to know who needs what in terms of recovery", he said.

Southgate is however, well aware of the midfield Croatia possess.

Following in the footsteps of the heroes of 1966 had looked a pipe dream this summer, but Southgate has created an impressive bond and shaped his promising team into World Cup challengers.

"They of course have a very strong midfield so, (it is about) denying them space and making sure awareness of distances and coverage of the pitch is correct and (knowing) the right moments to press".

"I always think big matches are a bit like weddings", he said. However, nine of the 14 players who featured in that game in Nice are part of Southgate's squad. He knew there was a chance to make history.

The Three Lions are two wins away from getting their hands on the World Cup trophy for the first time since 1966, and Southgate's men are, so far, exceeding their own expectations at this summer's tournament in Russian Federation.

"They're getting blamed for what my generation and generations that followed did".

All we can say is that for two of these four sides that answer will come sooner rather than later, as today (*producer jump zoom*): one of these nations is going home.

Several people were photographed on top of the ambulance.

Southgate, though, has not forgotten others who have assisted him as a player, manager and person, adding: "Whenever you are involved in a tournament like this you think about those who have helped along the way: every coach and teacher, players I've played with..."

What's more, a quick browse on the World Cup collection section on the official M&S website, where the Southgate-style waistcoat is priced at £65, shows that it's only available in XXL online.

After finishing second in their Group to fellow semi finalists Belgium, Gareth Southgate's side has incredibly found itself on the easier side of the draw, avoiding the likes of France, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, while Spain and Germany faced early elimination.

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