Southgate focused on the present

11 July 2018 03:18:52 EST

England head coach Gareth Southgate says there is plenty more to come from his side, but says they need to focus on the here and now of a World Cup 2018 semi-final.

The Three Lions take on Croatia on Wednesday evening with a place in the World Cup final at stake, with France having beaten Belgium 1-0 to claim the first final berth.

We are excited about the future, but we want to make the most of this opportunity as well.

Gareth Southgate

And Southgate is aware that his side remain a work in progress, but also believes that he and his players have to grasp the nettle of World Cup 2018 glory being just two wins away.

He told reporters: "This team is nowhere near the level they're going to be capable of, partly because of their age, but also because they'll have more big-match experiences over the next few years with their clubs and with us.

"We are excited about the future, but we want to make the most of this opportunity as well.

"We've been one of the youngest teams in the tournament, the least experienced, and we were never quite sure how far this team could go. The improvement and the hunger in the players is very clear for everyone to see."

Of opponents Croatia, who have needed penalties to eliminate Denmark and Russia in the last two rounds, Southgate added: "They will be the best team we've played in terms of what they're capable of doing with the ball, and what individuals are capable of, definitely."

England are priced at 8/13 to reach the final of World Cup 2018 and are 8/1 to do so after a penalty shootout, with Croatia 12/1 to progress after extra-time.

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