Gareth Southgate wants England to 'send people to work happy'
- Neal Copeland
Southgate, who experienced the pitfalls of global football when he missed a penalty in the shootout loss to old foes Germany in the Euro '96 semi-finals hosted in England, did not wish to heighten expectations which have so often been a crushing burden for the national side.
Rashford scored a splendid goal to open the scoring against Costa Rica to stake a strong claim to accompany Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling in attack, but his chances may have suffered a minor setback.
"We're pleased with how preparation has gone up until now, we fly out tomorrow so it'll be good to get on with it now", said Southgate.
The first ever appearance for England at a World Cup finals brought a 2-0 win over Chile in 1950 with goals from Stan Mortensen and Wilf Mannion.
"We like the fact we have taken the hotel just for ourselves because I think that is good for the balance of working, but also for the players being able to relax and have some time for themselves".
England begin their World Cup campaign against Group G opponents Tunisia on Monday, before taking on Panama and Belgium.
"My friend's brother used to play here at St Petersburg and he said the city was very attractive, so it will be nice to go and see it".
"He is going to represent us, so it is disappointing when our people go a little bit over the top but players have to accept that responsibility because you are representing the country".
Then again for the rest of us, Harry winning it will clearly equate to us having a great tournament.
He tweeted: "Thanks for the messages I've been getting".
With their last triumph coming in 1966, can England finally silence their critics and win a major tournament?
"Obviously there is more pressure because this is a World Cup but every player in the squad has dealt with pressure".
"And if it's public you've got to hit a level of performance, you've got to entertain the supporters, and maybe all the players aren't ready to go again".
"This is the stage you want to be on, the biggest stage in the world".
Kane further revealed that England, who are famous for their awful record in shootouts, would look to play the attacking game and focus more on scoring.