However, they have exceeded all expectations comfortably dispatching Sweden in Saturday afternoons quarter final to reach their first World Cup semi since 1990 when the likes of Peter Shilton, Terry Butcher, Chris Waddle and Gary Lineker were all in their prime.
The young and talented team have become the first England side to qualify for a World Cup semi-final since Italia 90, when they lost on penalties to West Germany in a heartbreaking shoot-out.
But Southgate is already proud of the work ethic and unity shown by his squad after overhauling the squad with young players during his 22 month reign.
The 11 goals came in six games on that occasion, with Southgate's men needing just five and having two left - a semi-final and either a final or third-place play-off - to add to their tally. "We made it to a quarter-final, it's been 24 years since we were last at this stage".
"They have got a hell of a chance and I don't think us as a nation will get a better chance of going all the way to the final, so I hope they grasp it". But today was a huge opportunity for us and it was not something we wanted to miss out on'.
"We're buzzing. It's probably not sunk in", Kane said.
Two years ago central defender Harry Maguire was celebrating helping Hull City to the Premier League by following England in the 2016 European Championships, now at Leicester City after suffering relegation with Hull a year ago, he is on the way to being one of the players of the tournament.
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Other than Kane, England's goals this time around have come from John Stones, with a surprise brace against Panama, Jesse Lingard in the same game, Maguire and Alli. "We are progressing really well and we do have some good players".
It was the last time - before this summer of course - England reached the last four of the World Cup. And he won over casual fans by displaying a caring side when Fabian Delph was allowed to fly home for the birth of his baby.
"Like Robson, Southgate has struck gold by playing three at the back and encouraging freedom of expression while backing youth".
"It was a hard game, Sweden made it tough, they play long balls which is different to what we've faced so far, but we created a few brilliant set pieces and crosses in the box, so yeah, we're buzzing".
Most fans though will be crowding around the big screens again on Wednesday, perhaps singing - and maybe even believing -the 1996 anthem by the Lightning Seeds pop band, "Football's Coming Home".
They have been knocked out by Southgate's tactical nous, cool-in-a-crisis touchline style and caring nature.