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    Gareth Southgate: 'More to come from maturing England at World Cup'


    Joe Jones

    Gareth Southgate has claimed that his England side is maturing and there is even more to come despite making the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1990.

    Goals in either half from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli overcame Sweden 2-0 in Samara, with Croatia next on England's agenda.

    "We are a team that are still improving, we know where we are and we are having success because everybody is working hard on the field," the England manager said.

    "The collective has been key, all of the support staff, all of the players have been tight. To get through the two games we had this week, we needed all of that because we're not the finished article.

    "We don't have renowned, world-class players yet but we've got lots of good young players who are showing on the young stage that they can be brave on the ball, try and play the right way, have shown some mental resilience.

    "We know that in years to come they will be stronger but today was a huge opportunity for us and not something we wanted to miss out on.

    "I'm so, so proud of what all of the players and all of the staff have done because we've got to this point because the collective has been so strong.

    "We played an opponent today whose identity is clear and whose togetherness has at times been too much for us to handle over the years.

    "To come on the back of a game where we had to go to the very depths emotionally and physically in midweek and be able to give what we gave today - control the game, but also withstand the physical test - was a real sign of resilience for a young team, who I think are really maturing in front of our eyes."

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