A slightly weird start to media duties at the Kaliningrad Stadium entailed, where Southgate delayed entering the room as long as possible watching Germany versus South Korea on a screen in the corridor outside, and then everyone had half an eye on social media or muted live streams for the first five minutes, until Germany's exit was confirmed.
England has scored 8 goals at this World Cup, as many as in 1954 and 1990, with 1966 being the only World Cup where they have scored more goals - it ended with England being crowned the champions. "It's been unusual to see them struggle as much as they have".
Whoever of England and Belgium tops the group will face the second-ranked team from Group H, with the victor of the latter group to play the runner-up. He gets energised when he is alone and uses the time to mull things over.
Southgate gambled here. The outcome of this throw of the dice will be known on Tuesday.
Captain Harry Kane is the top goalscorer at the World Cup with five goals so far and the Tottenham talisman is likely to start against Belgium.
Jose Pekerman has refused to entertain the prospect of seeing Colombia´s stuttering World Cup campaign end at the first hurdle.
But the Spaniard is seemingly not amused by the mass changes made by Roberto Martinez and Gareth Southgate, taking to Twitter to state his frustration that neither have gone with a full-strength team. Eight are expected, with Kane keeping his place to lead them.
'Anybody that plays against Colombia will know they are match ready. England now sits on top, with only one yellow card versus Belgium's three bookings. Russian Federation 2018 will be his fifth World Cup. "Now we need to look at our individual players".
"We're always talking with our players about discipline on the pitch, avoiding giving away unnecessary free-kicks". Will it come down to yellow cards?!
Their final game presented the usual conundrum for teams already through with a game to spare: Do you try to keep the momentum going with your starters, or cycle in reserves to fight for a place and give the regulars a rest?
'We know that depending on which players we pick in certain positions, we just have a different profile of threat. I can't imagine a situation where I talk to the players about anything else. The last of these came 12 years ago against Ecuador. A stark change from their quiet, sleepy Repino base.
"We don't suffer for (the loss)", Southgate said. "But there'll be more energy around the hotel, and that prepares you well". "That would mean we top the group and we would go into whatever game we go into moving forward".
It's a clash of two teams with some familiar faces. Plenty to celebrate already, even before a ball has been kicked: England are through, and the Germans are out.