The England boss added he would "probably know" his starting XI for the Group G opener against Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18 "if it was tomorrow", but insisted there was still plenty of time for players to stake their claim.
The news caused some degree of panic among England fans, many of whom hope the Manchester United ace starts the first group game against Tunisia on Monday evening.
"I've talked before about there being a disconnect between the supporters and the team", Southgate said. "I've felt that there are different ways to bridge that - the most important is the way you play, and your performances and your results".
"We are seeing a team that is enjoying each other's company, getting on well, is very proud to represent the nation".
"Knowing the manager and having worked with him before, I know what he's like and i'm pretty confident as long as I keep my feet on the ground and working hard I'll get my opportunity". We ask people to pay a lot of money to watch football.
England haven't kicked off a major tournament with a win since all the way back in 2006 when a third-minute Paraguay own-goal sealed a 1-0 win to make a positive start to the World Cup in Germany.
"We are aiming to win the first game, then to target the second, and take that attitude to the World Cup". If that means the gaffer thinks to help the team out I should play there I am all for it.
"It's the one competition that everybody dreams of winning".
Ever since England won the World Cup in 1966 and thus set unrealistically high expectations for every squad that proceeded them, the relationship between the media and the England team has grown increasingly toxic.
Let us know in the comments. Constantly trying to improve, playing in a style that we've used in the past year or so and that people have warmed to.
"If we do all of those things, play with a smile on our faces and enjoy our football, I think we will get results". I know what those tournament experiences can be like and we desperately want to bring that.