SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell has been impressed by how Gareth Southgate has prepared England for the World Cup.

England complete their preparations for Russia with a friendly against Costa Rica tomorrow night.

And Powell - who played alongside Southgate in his youth at Crystal Palace - is keen to see the Three Lions impress.

“I really want England to do well at the World Cup for so many reasons including for Gareth who I think really does seem made for the job,” said Powell.

“I’ve known him since I was 15 when we were together at Crystal Palace and I like the ‘we’re in it to win it’ spirit he’s got with the squad.

“I was actually at St. George’s Park last week and I watched the group training for an hour.

“It was amazing to see the very best 23 players in the country up close like that and it was great to speak with Gareth too.

“I also went to watch the Nigeria game at the weekend and as a patriotic Englishman I want the national team to be successful.

“I can’t wait for the World Cup to get started now and I would love to see Gareth and the team doing well because it would have such a huge effect on the whole country.”

Powell won five international caps for England during his own playing career and will now be avidly following their progress in Russia.

The Three Lions have been drawn alongside Tunisia, Panama and Belgium in Group G.

But Powell is hoping England will advance into the latter stages of the competition.

“The first thing is to get out of the group and hopefully we’ll do that before we have to play Belgium in the last game,” said Powell.

“After that it’s the round of 16 and hopefully the quarter finals but the team will be aiming to make it further than that, despite whatever the seedings might suggest.”

However, when it comes to predicting the winners of the World Cup Powell believes Germany and Brazil remain firm favourites.

“Germany and Brazil have to be the favourites but Spain have to be up there too,” said Powell.

“Brazil haven’t actually won a World Cup in Europe since winning in Sweden in 1958 so it would be a big achievement for them.

“They will determined to put the record straight after that 7-1 defeat to Germany in the last World Cup but I think they’re among those who could win it, along with England.”