"We want to win the game, that would mean we would top the group, and we play who we play in the next round", Southgate added.
So you can almost take it as guaranteed that England will finish second but then lose in the last 16.
Speaking to TalkSport, Southgate said: "As a manager you've got to think about the whole squad and then your second thought is always for individuals and their own situations - that's a really complex balance in any business when you're managing people, but I'm sure we will get that right".
Win every game and keep their momentum intact or lose now to go further in the tournament.
And Will Tomlinson, 34, from Retford, in Nottinghamshire, said he hoped for an English influx as the team progressed through the tournament.
We asked you to pick your XI to face Roberto Martinez's men (19:00 BST) and the answer was yes, you do make changes - three of them from the resounding 6-1 win over Panama.
With Germany suffering a shock elimination and Brazil not yet guaranteed to qualify, some have suggested finishing second in the group would give England, who are in the aforementioned pair's half of the draw, an easier route to the final.
"When you make changes and players come in they have a high level of motivation, they know it's a brilliant opportunity to play at the World Cup and they want to show what they can do", he said.
England has won just six knockout games at major tournaments since winning the World Cup in 1966 and only two at World Cups since 1990.
England boss Southgate wants to allow forward Sterling to recharge his batteries to help him get back to his best form for the World Cup knockout phase starting early next week.
Of course, that's all assuming England can navigate their way past the last 16 stage; by no means a guarantee with Colombia one of three sides awaiting them alongside Senegal and Japan.
However, it was never proved if the match was thrown, but henceforth all final group matches were played together.
"Tomorrow is a good opportunity for us to grow. I don't think it is going to take any longer than that".