He should also be given credit for insisting his players practice penalties, even bringing in a psychologist to help them, after a succession of his predecessors wrote the whole process off as a lottery beyond their control.
"I know they weren't happy with us before this match because there were lots of remarks, serious comments and unfounded comments".
"We've not got a good record against them".
Captain Harry Kane broke the nil-nil deadlock with a penalty in the 57th minute and England appeared the stronger of the two sides against a Colombia squad determined to disrupt the flow of play. "I've never really been in a situation like that before but felt I had to score after missing the header at the end so I'm just thankful I scored", he said.
Sterling suggested he would not be seeking any further action against the coach, content simply to leave Spartak Stadium with a quarter-final date against Sweden.
"Obviously we'd spoken a lot about being an inexperienced and young team, but we grew up a lot on that pitch", the Spurs striker said.
Gareth Southgate's side had been seconds away from the last eight during normal time, with Harry Kane's penalty after he was fouled by Carlos Sanchez in the box - his sixth goal of the tournament - looking as though it was going to send them through.
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"I just remember running in and someone stepped in front of me", he said of the incident.
Surrounded by current and former players, Southgate was trying to look forward to his World Cup as England coach when he was taken back 22 years. We were behind, and wanting Pickers to save one, and he did.
"That's why I didn't go there."
After his side was shown six yellow cards, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman made clear his unhappiness with USA referee Mark Geiger.
The Three Lions were preparing for a free-kick on the edge of the Colombian penalty area when the incident occurred and amidst the uproar between both sets of players, referee Mark Geiger brandished a yellow card in the direction of the Boca Juniors midfielder.
Juan Cuadrado, Marcus Rashford and Luis Muriel followed Kane with successful spot kicks, before Jordan Henderson's effort was blocked by a sprawling Ospina.
Instead of celebrating wildly with England's ecstatic players, Southgate went straight to Colombian counterpart José Pékerman and the devastated Uribe, who was in tears standing next to his manager. "People should also look at England's players".