England coach Southgate ditches trademark World Cup garment

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The match is the Three Lions' first since the World Cup, in which Kane finished as top goalscorer, scoring six times in his side's run to the semi-finals.

Southgate's youthful side overshot expectations to reach the semi-finals of Russian Federation 2018, where they were beaten 2-1 by Croatia in extra time.

A sold-out home crowd is set to provide a celebratory atmosphere on the back of England's exploits in Russian Federation but, even in light of the euphoria that fostered, Southgate is not losing sight of the bigger picture.

"The manager will want to implement his own ideas - there will be differences Luis Enrique will want to impose - but they have some wonderful footballers and it's a really good test for us". It is not impressive, bar Argentina in 2002 [in the World Cup group stage].

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"Ideally over the next two years we'd like to go into the European Championship with a record of beating the top teams".

Former England assistant coach Gary Neville recently suggested that Southgate should alter the formation and play a 3-4-3 in games against the top sides.

Despite the disallowed goal, England will need to improve going into next month's match against World Cup finalists Croatia - a team whose technical and tactical nous is able to compete against any side in the world.

"It's fantastic the stadium is sold out, we just want to put in a good performance like in the summer". It's about the next step and the next challenge. The feelgood factor from Russian Federation?

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England captain Harry Kane will wear gold boots in his first global after winning the Golden Boot as top scorer at this year's World Cup, although he said he was disappointed with his displays in Russian Federation overall despite scoring six times. "One of our ambitions over the previous year or so has been to get back that connection with the supporters".

That extra man playing in a central/defensive midfield role with inside forwards supporting Harry Kane upfront provides a better balance than the current formation - and with one clean sheet in seven games, a change of system is something that has been much needed for a long time.

"A year ago when we qualified [for the World Cup] there were paper aeroplanes on the pitch and we were thinking, 'What are we doing here?'".

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