Roberto Martinez says Gareth Southgate has clear vision for England

Roberto Martinez believes “thinker” Gareth Southgate has prepared England more effectively for the World Cup than his predecessors.

Southgate will come head to head with Martinez when England take on Belgium in their final Group G game on June 28. They play Tunisia and Panama in their opening matches.

Martinez, a former Everton and Wigan boss, believes Southgate has created a positive mood among his youthful squad.

“Absolutely [the preparation has been better],” Martinez told the Guardian.

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“Gareth is a thinker. He has a clear vision and he has players he knows really well from his time in the under-21s. He’s created a team that looks as if it will enjoy the World Cup.

“We worked together on ITV during the Euros in Poland and Ukraine and we got on really well and share a similar outlook.”

Belgium were dealt an injury blow in their World Cup warm-up match against Costa Rica as Chelsea’s Eden Hazard limped off with 20 minutes remaining after sustaining a suspected dead leg.

The Red Devils finished Monday’s match as 4-1 victors after Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku [2] and Michy Batshuayi scored.

Meanwhile, England will arrive in Russia on Tuesday with their opening match against Tunisia on Monday night.