Southgate in no mood to change England's winning formula

England have had more shots on target and scored one more goal than Croatia

England's matches so far in Russian Federation have attracted huge television audiences at home and wild celebrations, with affable coach Gareth Southgate and his vibrant young squad capturing the hearts of a nation.

He is now trying to minimise potential distractions as his young team prepare to take the next step in their bid to repeat the 1966 World Cup triumph at home. They followed Denmark's first-minute strike with a swift equaliser, while a set-piece score from each team played a pivotal role in the match with Russian Federation going to penalties. "Our preparation for the game has been identical". I felt something unusual in my knee and after talking with the doctor on the sideline we decided I should come off.

"You don't have to change things, you don't have to do things differently".

"The higher the level of opponent, if you press in a disorganised fashion, then you will get picked through, and we have got to be conscious of that".

Vrsaljko says that he expects the match against England to be completely different than the games against Denmark and Russian Federation.

"If England win the World Cup and he wins the Golden Boot he will most likely win the Golden Ball as well, which will prove he is at the very top".

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has only one real injury concern heading into Wednesday's World Cup semi-final in Russian Federation.

"Come here, and we'll watch it together. All the way through we have been one of the youngest teams in the tournament, the least experienced team, but we were never quite sure how far this team could go", said Southgate. We're starting to see through the age groups some success because of that. "We've done okay so far, taken it game by game and we'll continue to do that", he said.

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- Croatia scored two headers in its last match against Russian Federation - only one of its previous 29 World Cup goals was scored via a header.

With an average squad age of just over 26 and fewer combined caps than any other participating team, Southgate knows there is still plenty of room for improvement.

"But any team in a World Cup semi-final is going to find the energy and going to find the motivation". We are purely focusing on ourselves and what we want to do as a team and the collective is really the most important thing. The more big games we're involved and the more they come out successful in, the more belief it will build.

Frank Lampard pulled one back from the penalty spot in the second half and substitute David Beckham set up Peter Crouch for the equaliser, but Mladen Petric crashed home a 25-yard victor with 13 minutes left and England trudged off to a chorus of boos. Croatia's midfield control depends on the exceptional balancing act done by Luka Modric and Rakitic, and Henderson is the only player at Gareth Southgate's disposal who is well-equipped to disrupt that rhythm.

Modric is Croatia's creative fulcrum and the effectiveness of the Real Madrid playmaker in Moscow will be integral to his nation's hopes of reaching the World Cup final for the first time.

"It's a massive game for us, we all know that, but there's no need to make it bigger than what it already is". Southgate pointed to the uniting effect the team's exploits have had on a nation enduring "difficult moments" economically and politically, with the seniors threatening to emulate the achievements of England's under-17s and under-20s, both now world champions, and the European Championship-winning under-19s.

Asked what he would be demanding from his players, the England coach told ITV: "To be able to keep doing what we have been doing, play with real defensive discipline, good organisation, tactical awareness".

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