Even with qualification guaranteed England need to impress against Slovenia to prove their merit

​​​​​​​England have the certainty of being in the knockout phase - now it's about how their path in Germany shapes up.

It is a path Gareth Southgate hopes leads his Three Lions to Berlin and a second consecutive Euros final.

But first there is a Group C finale against Slovenia today in Cologne to negotiate and trying to go through as group winners.

They are in the top spot with four points from two games but could still finish runners-up - and then meet hosts Germany in the last 16 - or drop to third and have to play another group winner.

What is certain to Southgate is a need to vastly improve their showing so far in Germany with an underwhelming 1-0 win over Serbia followed by a tense 1-1 draw with Denmark when their early threat faded.

Against Slovenia, Southgate wants to see the Three Lions "identity" that carried them to the Euro 2020 final - although the squad has vastly changed since then.

"We haven't quite seen that in the first couple of games and there was a need to have a reset button and have open and honest conversations but that is a reflection," Southgate said.

"We reflect as a coaching team. The players are reflective.

"So, nobody has been ducking anything this week, nobody has been alone in their thoughts.

"It's a real collective because we're all on the same page.

"That allows us to assess where we were and how we need to progress in the same direction."

Results went in England's favour since drawing with Denmark to ensure they go into the clash with Slovenia knowing they have already qualified for the knockout phase.

There is not expected to be much tactical experimentation in Cologne from Southgate but the hope is for a more expansive performance that demonstrates England's attacking potential.

There is a need to win over the fans after being booed off the pitch in Frankfurt after being held by Denmark.

Southgate has been trying to block out the criticism with the most vocal grumbling coming from Gary Lineker - the England striker turned presenter and podcaster.

"The big risk is you have a knee-jerk reaction and you move away from things that are going well," Southgate said.

"You can rip everything up and go in a completely different direction but what's actually going well? We don't want to lose what's going well.

"Then it's, 'Okay, how can we add to what we're doing?' Your best players are still your best players.

"We might not have functioned as a team as we would have liked for a large part of the second game and a half of the first game.

"But that doesn't mean what we've been doing for the last two years, in particular, and the period before that ... we shouldn't be throwing everything out of the window."

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Still a caution from Southgate despite all his tournament experience - four as an England player and now four as the manager.

It could be his last - paving the way to leaving even if he wins the first men's trophy for England since the 1966 World Cup.

He said: "We have to stay calm, make sensible decisions, make the right calls, keep everybody on track."