Martinez has hailed the pleasure his whole squad have been taking on the pitch and has worked to build a team spirit where clashes of egos bedeviled the Belgians under his predecessor Marc Wilmots at the last World Cup and at Euro 2016.
At this World Cup though, conventional wisdom has been turned on its head.
Round of 16: Colombia, Japan or Senegal.
He's just the fourth teenager to represent England on the biggest stage of them all, after Luke Shaw, Raheem Sterling and Michael Owen. Brazil, Portugal, France and Argentina are possible future opponents.
By finishing runner-up, the route - on paper at least - looks a lot more manageable. But the methods which had seen him reach the semi-finals of every major tournament appeared to have run their course in Russian Federation. In the big picture though it may do England no harm at all.
England and Belgium still have plenty left in the tank for the knock-out stages but how much will the group games have taken out of their rivals?
Belgium have some of the best players on the planet, and Roberto Martinez's side will be aiming to go all the way in Russian Federation and win the World Cup. Southgate said that he was fairly indifferent on that.
"They have a brilliant opportunity first and foremost to play in a World Cup, they want to show what they can do".More news: Epic Relaunches Fortnite’s Playground LTM
Southgate hinted that he would make some changes to his starting 11 but did not go into specifics.
"I think tomorrow's a celebration", Martinez said.
In all these discussions, there is a danger of assuming progression from the Round of 16 before a ball has been kicked in anger. Belgium, with this registered their first win against England since 1936.
There is no sign of fatigue in Kane's blistering start in Russian Federation and he would have either three or four days before England's next game, depending on where they finish.
Pickford got no more than a fingertip to Januzaj's curling effort shortly after half-time which ultimately saw Belgium finish top of the group.
So is losing the best option?The runner-up in the group will play Colombia, and then a quarter-final against Switzerland or Sweden if they beat the South Americans.
On RTE before the match, Eamon Dunphy wasn't impressed with England's back-three. I can't imagine a situation where I stand in front of the group of players I have got and start talking to them about anything else.
Others - perhaps with more hands-on experience in such matters - placed greater emphasis on maintaining momentum.More news: Federation Internationale de Football Association 'strongly rebukes' Diego Maradona comments after England win against Colombia
Skomina was also in charge of Belgium's Euro 2016 quarter-final loss to Wales when he dished out a total of six yellow cards.
Both countries were assured of progressing to the knockout stages and made a raft of changes to put out what were largely second-string sides.
"We want to win football matches so we're not happy to come away being beaten".
"We´ve not won a knockout game since 2006". We have seen the level everyone has been playing at, we need to keep improving.
"I am trying to develop a winning mentality". "We're sorry we didn't play like world champions".
"We want to perform well but I think the priority is not to win", he said.More news: Wimbledon 2018: Johanna Konta's advice to smash it at tennis