The Three Lions laboured at Wembley and needed a Harry Kane goal in the third minute of injury time to seal their place in Russian Federation next summer.
"As a young team and having to deal with the expectation and criticism of their performances, it is tough for them".
"They're young players that we have to try and get behind".
"They are giving everything they've got". Since then they've only reached the semi-finals only once (1990), while they've failed to even progress through to the quarter-finals since 2006, with their last showing a humiliating group stage exit in 2014. They are a work in progress. But they will give everything they've got for the shirt and they are going to improve over the next few years.
The result means England have not lost in their last 20 World Cup qualifiers - a run that stretches back eight years - and they have topped their World Cup qualification group for the sixth time in succession. That isn't their fault. We have to give them the belief and the backing to help them achieve.More news: Ireland stick with Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane
Meanwhile, England will start their World Cup preparations with friendlies against Germany and Brazil next month, the Football Association has announced.
"I think tonight highlighted where we are. We just have to stick together", Kane said.
"But there will be England supporters going to Lithuania and we have a duty to put in a performance". The talismanic Tottenham striker snatched Southgate's side the win they needed to secure qualification for Russian Federation 2018.
"We dust ourselves off, we have got another game on Sunday, we are not thinking too far ahead and (will) keep doing what we are doing and see what happens".
Generations of England fans have grown tired of the national team's boring mediocrity and, even during a game in which qualification to next summer's World Cup finals in Russian Federation could be guaranteed, the general public were largely uninterested.More news: Slight Chance Of Rain Today; Storms By Saturday
"No, not relief", Southgate said.
"I'm able to rationalise it all".
"But I was given the job to keep things steady a year ago".
Slovenia coach Srecko Katanec revealed he will step down after his side's final game at home to Scotland. That says it all about England's current standing in world football. "Definitely one of the very best I have ever played against and an absolute goal machine". I thought we did that well.More news: All Flights Canceled as UK's Monarch Air Placed Under Administration