England v Costa Rica: Marcus Rashford played with swagger - Gareth Southgate

"We did the game last week north v south - obviously the south won - and it's a great togetherness that we've got".

As it was, the goal was merely the highlight of a pre-tournament friendly and as such will likely only go down as a footnote in his burgeoning Three Lions career.

Asked if the lack of playing time had added to his frustration Rashford said: "It's a bit of both... if you play a lot of games it's hard to be fresh... if you play fewer games you have the feeling that you want to play more". I think tonight he was buzzing all around the pitch. Costa Rica may be be ranked 30 places higher than their fellow Central Americans but how England line up against them - and the kind of football they try to play - will surely offer heavy hints about Southgate's plans.

"Most pleasing was to make 10 changes and still maintain the fluidity and fluency of the game".

So, what did we learn from these friendlies?

We've a sneaking suspicion this won't go down too well with Manchester United supporters.

"So, if I look at the three weeks we've had, I couldn't be happier with the preparation: physically, tactically and in the togetherness of the group".

"Of course, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I want to be out there, but these things happen, it's the circumstances and I wish the lads the best of luck", said Lallana.

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Southgate pinpointed the scrutiny and criticism of Raheem Sterling's gun tattoo, as well as the openness in which Danny Rose spoke about his fight with depression.

"It's one of the things that the three boys that have been on standby have talked about when I spent time with them today, and that's not to be underestimated because I think that gives us a real strength going into Russian Federation". And as long as we are at it and we execute the jobs we have been given by the boss, then we can win it.

"So, clearly, getting out of the group and winning a knockout game would be a real sign of progress".

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There is an abundance of pace throughout the team which will make England equally as effective playing on the front foot or looking to sit back and counter attacker more superior teams. "We've discussed the possible situation over racism, which was certainly an important connection between the team".

"I love him, though and most people do".

"I do not see him starting the first game for England, but I can see him having an impact at some point in the tournament". "The past can help us and inform us but it shouldn't shape us and we've got to be our own team".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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