Kyle Walker has spoken of the close family feel within the England team, created by Gareth Southgate ahead of their World Cup semi final with Croatia tomorrow night.
Southgate has managed to rejuvenate the national team, creating quite a buzz for the nation having secured their highest ever finish at a World Cup Finals since 1990, where they eventually finished in fourth.
With a cool head, the 47-year-old has stood by some bold decisions he has made, his emotional intelligence a symbol of a modern, outward-looking man.
This is the man that who has only three years’ of top-flight coaching experience, but trusts and encourages his players to take responsibility for their own actions instilling in them a feeling of pride.
“We did have a north v south game at The Grove – what I can remember is we had a dodgy ref who was southern in Steve (Holland), which didn’t help the northerners,” the Sheffield-born defender told Sky News Radio.
“Listen, it doesn’t matter where you’re from. I think everyone is so close in there. It’s special. It really is. That’s the only word I can describe it because we’re all a family.
“I said at the start of this that over this summer, this is our family.
“You obviously have got your family at home and the kids that you need to keep in touch with, keep checking in or the missus might go mad. But this is our family now.
“Hopefully we had a long month together, which we have done. And we’ve completed a World Cup. We have completed it.
“If we get to the final or if we don’t get to the final then we’re one day short, you know it has been an absolute pleasure of an experience to share not just with the players but the staff, even the media staff and you guys as well. Thank you for coming on our ride with us.”