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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Fabian Delph hopes to return to a 'better England' after World Cup unity

Gareth Southgate says England are fully motivated for their third place playoff with Belgium.

Fabian Delph hopes that England's successful World Cup run will have united the country enough that he and his teammates will return "back to a better country."

At a time when the population has been divided over Brexit and other political matters, England's trip to the semifinals in Russia brought the country together.

And on the eve of England's third-place game against Belgium, Delph said he hopes the feeling of togetherness lingers on after the tournament ends.

"I would hope so that we are going back to a better country, the nation seems to have been brought together," Delph told reporters in St Petersburg. "From what I've heard it seems to be a better place. If we continue to do what we are doing and unite people then I am sure we will be living in a better England.

"I did think that we would go back as superheroes, because I genuinely thought we were going to win the World Cup. That hasn't happened. But we are in the public eye, we need to continue to be good role models and try to help the young guys to look up to us and try to do what we have done.

"The diversity [of the squad] has definitely brought people together. It is great for the country, and great for us as players to be part of that as well, and almost force that to happen."

England midfielder Fabian Delph
Fabian Delph

Delph has already returned to England once during the World Cup, leaving the team for four days for the birth of his daughter.

"Everybody was screaming, 'It's coming home', every one I saw," he said. "We had a home birth... the midwife was asking for a picture. She told me, 'It's coming home.'

"When I was doing the school run, usually the kids run past me, but I was signing autographs. Even the teacher seemed to like me a bit more now.

"I've felt the support wherever I've been, everyone who has caught eyes with me has been giving me that support."

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