"I think the current generation of Croatian players has been underestimated", Dalic told a news conference.
Yet while it was complete focus on the job in hand as the players prepared for what is the most high-pressure game of their worldwide careers, the relaxed vibe surrounding the England base camp in Repino remained.
"Our last three games were different because we played teams with a defensive approach", he said.
England have already made history during the World Cup, after beating Colombia during a penalty shootout.
England take on Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium at 1900BST on Wednesday, hoping to get the win that would see them return to the same venue to face either France or Belgium in the final. What's more, since the manager was first spotted wearing the bracelet, Monica Vinader have seen sales of the collection soar, with a massive 300% rise in sales compared with past year.
Croatia did get some revenge for that by ensuring England failed to qualify for Euro 2008 in November 2007 with a 3-2 win at Wembley Stadium.
England are the "cleanest" team of the remaining countries, with just five bookings across five matches. We have had the chance to make a difference.
"We wanted to play good football, we wanted to work hard, play with a passion and I thought we've done that".
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"They are proud to wear the shirt".
Neville perfectly predicted the semi-final match-ups which will take place this week before, like Eden Hazard, he anticipated a Belgium vs. England final.
"Our country has been though some hard moments in terms of unity and sport has the power to do that, and football in particular", he said.
"You can feel the encouragement and support".
Following England's incredible win against Sweden, the track by The Lightening Seeds & Baddiel and Skinner - which includes the iconic chant "It's coming home" - has smashed its way to number one.
But Southgate revealed he could not listen to it for many years.
"It's nice to hear people enjoying it again, anyway".
"Now I want to go and see what's going on in Russian Federation", said one fan, Michael Roberts, 27, as he waited for his flight.