Criticising England’s performance after Sunday’s victory against Panama would be “harsh,” England head coach Gareth Southgate said on Monday morning (AEST).
England thrashed Panama 6-1, scoring five goals in the first half of the game and secured their passage through to the round of 16.
“I’m really pleased of course with the way that we were ruthless for half an hour or so… It’s a really good day," Southgate said.
"The only downside really is the goal at the end (but) it would be harsh to criticise the players after a performance, a day like that."
England and Belgium are both top of their group and the winner of the clash between the two sides in Kaliningrad on Thursday will win Group G. Both teams have the same goal difference and have scored eight goals and conceded two.
“We’ve got to enjoy tonight, and then we start again tomorrow,” Southgate added.
In the knockouts, England will face one of the Group H teams, namely Senegal, Japan, Poland or Colombia.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will continue until July 15, with the matches being played in 11 cities across Russia.