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The England boss, who named his final 26-man squad for the European Championship on Tuesday, took his side to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia three years ago when expectations were relatively low - but things are rather different this time around.
All three of England's group-stage games are being played at Wembley Stadium, as are the semi-finals, final and potentially Southgate's round-of-16 tie too.
While there are injury concerns over veterans of the World Cup in Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson, the Three Lions go in as one of the favourites this time around - and Southgate knows that comes with pressure.
Building on 2018 means one thing, reaching a European Championship final for the first time and those in the camp know anything less will deemed as failure.
"It probably will be," said Southgate.
"I think we're realistic about that. We have to live with that expectation. We know the excitement around the team and it's great. We're now relevant. I think expectations were lower in Russia.
"We've got some exciting players. I don't think these players are at their peak by any means. When I look at some of the players working with us, so exciting for England in the future for the fans and for future England managers who will work with some of these players like Jude [Bellingham] who is going to be here for for a long time, I think.
“That's the challenge. I've got to try to manage the expectations for the players. I accept the situation as a manager there's expectation, I have to deliver. We have to deliver as a group of staff, it's not about me in terms of if we can be successful.
"Of course it's about me if we fail, so no problem that's the gig.
"But for the players I've still got to bear in mind, they are young group. They have still got a lot of progression to make some are now learning to win things they've been involved in big matches, it's brilliant for their progress and for the opportunities for him. That's what we want.
"Are we ready to win? Well, we've been to two semi-finals so the next step is to try to go further."