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Southgate determined for England to finish World Cup on a high

Gareth Southgate has said that his players were determined to finish the tournament on a high as he held a press conference to preview the game against Belgium.

"Emotionally it has been a difficult few days but the players are incredible. They are a pleasure to work with. They have an energy and desire.

"We want to finish the tournament well. We have set a standard of how we work and how we play."

Credit: PA

The England boss is not intending to make wholesale changes for the game but will assess the players' fitness levels before choosing his side and does not think motivation will be a problem for his side.

"Everyone wants to play but sometimes it is not a good decision to play someone if their energy is not there," said Southgate

"It won't be the same XI but we want to make as few changes as possible."

"We have high motivation to perform. We have a chance to win a medal at a World Cup, which only one other English team has ever done.

"There is a lot of motivation for us and Belgium have already beaten us, so we would like to address that as well."

Credit: PA

Southgate is pleased with the progress England have made in the tournament, not just on the field but also in changing perceptions of the national side at home.

"If we want to play for England we have to deal with expectation. We have raised expectation and I don't have a problem with that because we have also raised belief in the players.

"And they now see playing for England as enjoyment, fun and not feeling under siege. There is an energy and connection back."

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