"They've seen we've got good lads who are incredibly proud to play, and are playing in a slightly different style to the one we've seen for a few years - playing with confidence on a big stage".
Southgate is however, well aware of the midfield Croatia possess.
In spite of his profligacy in front of the opposition goal, Southgate maintained that Raheem Sterling is an essential ingredient to the side as with his "speed he stretches the opposition".
Southgate, who revealed he has a full squad from which to choose, also voiced his support for Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling, whose performances in Russian Federation have attracted criticism in certain quarters, insisting he is a key member of the team, a claim supported by Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic. He knew there was a chance to make history.
Southgate is well aware of the near-hysteria among England's support at home, and takes pride from the manner in which his team is unifying the country.
First win on penalties in the World Cup.
"This generation has been underrated due to their results but they've had the quality and now they are showing it".
Southgate, who was surprised by the vest craze, said he never considered himself a "fashion icon" but loved the enthusiasm from supporters across the UK. "You don't want to watch it back, but we knew how important it was, going into the World Cup, that we had to go back through it to come out stronger". We still needed the win but I thought, "No, it's ridiculous".
"They'll 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", the Three Lions boss added.
"Everything is positive, we're enjoying every moment".
"Hopefully they'll just get their heads down, work hard and get the win for us".