It took Marcus Rashford just seven minutes to show he was in the mood on Thursday night, the Manchester United forward beating Costa Rica defender Kendall Waston with a piece of skill that Ronaldinho would have been proud of.
It was just reward for a fine first-half performance but England lost some of their rhythm after the break, as Southgate made a number of changes, including handing goalkeeper Nick Pope his first taste of global football. We finished the season and it was straight into the Euros and I think we suffered because of that. "We have listened to compelling interviews from Rio and Frank and Steven and we've used those to say we've got to make sure we put those club situations to one side but I don't think there is that intense rivalry at the moment between our top clubs that there was then", he said.
"We know what we can do as a team and we know how far we've come since the previous tournament".
"His movement and his first touch was great and I just think he has the ability to go past players and score goals".
Stones started in the middle of Gareth Southgate's preferred back three between Harry Maguire and Phil Jones and was only troubled once in an assured display before being replaced by Gary Cahill in the 65th minute.
Limited playing time at Manchester United last season has added to striker Marcus Rashford's frustration but the England worldwide believes he will be ready to make his mark at the World Cup.
"A little bit different in that obviously (there was) a slightly different profile of players, so maybe we didn't get as many men in the box at times". "If you play a lot of games it's hard to be fresh at this stage of the season and if you play fewer games you have the feeling inside you that you want to play more". I said to all the team before the game, I expect to see mistakes tonight and, if I don't, there might be a problem because we wouldn't be being as attack-minded as we want to be.
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Former England winger Chris Waddle, speaking on BBC Radio 5 live: "Rashford played as a No 10 and not a No 9, so that's what we should judge him on".
"Ruben we know is a super talent and it's still early for him", Southgate said.
It would be a big risk to play Rashford. I see them as individuals.
"It wasn't "first-team played Nigeria and second-team played today".
On his goal, Rashford added: "You work on them in training every day and when one comes up in a game it's a reward".
Southgate took a fearless decision by leaving out a number of big name players and opting for a youthful squad for the tournament in Russian Federation.
"It is up to the manager to decide who is in the best XI for the first game and then for the games after that but I have felt in good form for a long time".