The Tottenham forward has been the Premier League's top goalscorer for the past two seasons and has five goals in his last three worldwide appearances after his brace against Malta on Friday. Emile Heskey opened the scoring early on with the penultimate strike of his seven-goal global career before a late Rooney brace and a Frank Lampard goal sealed an emphatic win for the hosts.
"Danny can play a couple of different roles, which makes him a valuable asset".
But Southgate has urged supporters to get behind his team and said: "Is it (fans" criticism) helpful for the team?
Southgate, who has all of his players available, is expected to bring Eric Dier back into the team after suspension.
"I don't like making a decision like that at half-time because, having played, you know how that feels, but I have got to make the right decision for the team". He also knew how many Ronaldo had at this point, how many Messi had at this point and everybody else.
"He's driven to be one of the world's best".
"I was having some interaction with Julen Lopetegui at a game and he was commenting on how lucky I was to have Harry playing", Southgate said.
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"Harry is still in the early stages of his career, but he's top scorer in the league two years running and in a really good place".
"Look, he's a lad we love", the England manager said.
"We're still talking about a 24-year-old, so there's still much more to come from him".
"I never minded that self-belief".
England goalkeeper Joe Hart will keep his place against Slovakia, while Marcus Rashford may have forced his way into the starting line-up.
"We have some exciting young players who can be really good going forward, but will have to go through some of the hardships those Spaniards had to get through to get where they are".
England will be five points clear with just two games left if they win tonight.
Southgate added: "I don't know how quickly we can develop that". They pay their money and want us to win and perform.