Published: Fri, June 29, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Southgate: Belgium lineup choice for "the bigger picture"

Southgate: Belgium lineup choice for

Meanwhile Taoiseach Mr Varadkar said he would be supporting Belgium - nicknamed The Red Devils - in the game.

There has been plenty of talk that a second-placed finish means England are in the easier half of the draw. "When the coach [Hernan Dario Gomez] said we were coming here to learn, that is exactly what he meant", explained Baloy.

Defeat has actually given England what appears on paper to be a more favourable knockout path, though they must now face a unsafe Colombia team in the round of 16 rather than a Japan side who only qualified from Group H thanks to a better fair play record than Senegal.

"We want to win football matches so we're not happy to come away being beaten", Southgate told ITV Sport.

It remains to be seen who England will play in the knockout stages, where the result against Belgium will determine who they play from either Japan or Colombia.

'It's fearless, everyone's talked about England must play the strongest team, must top the group, don't mess around but they've done just that.

"We want to win football matches and we also know the big game is the knockout tie to come, so it was hard to balance all of those. We have to keep building that belief and building those experiences".

After the game, the German players had no option but to pack their bags and exit Russian Federation.

And the seasoned campaigner knows very well what Panama have to do if they are to compete with the big guns: "We have to work hard with these players, and not just physically and tactically but mentally too". The organization has surprised everyone, I think it's given an incredible image of the Russian people, of Russia in general. "They had better controlled possession and the best chances in the first half".

"You've got Rashford and Vardy up front, they need service but they couldn't get anything tonight because of the lack of technical ability from those three lads".

"We saw that in the Euros two years ago". We're building a team that everyone back home can see are passionate to play for England, that want to win every time they go out and are improving every time.

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