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Roy Hodgson has said there are no easy answers to England's continued failure to keep possession and pleaded for patience.
The passing frailties that caused so much difficulty at Euro 2012 came back to haunt the Three Lions in Poland on Wednesday.
Even Hodgson, who has identified Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Raheem Sterling as three obvious England candidates for the two forthcoming friendlies, admitted it was not pretty.
Yet the England coach was in defensive mood when he came to the issue of addressing what to do about it.
"People highlight that if we're going to be a really top team we're going have to consistently improve the level of our technique," he said. "Let's hope St George's Park will help a little bit along the way.
"But it's a little unfair to ask us to win yesterday. We can only win tomorrow. We can only push forward tomorrow.
"Maybe the level of our technical performance wasn't as good.
"It's something we have got to be aware of and keep working at.
"But we can't keep being critical every time we don't reach the heights.
"Albeit against lesser opposition (San Marino), on a lovely Wembley pitch like a billiard table, where the ball was zipping about, there were some very good technical performances on Friday.
"And if you watched the Ukraine game again you might be quite impressed by some of the football we played.
"But the result decides everything and suddenly that wasn't a good performance."
On a pitch under water in parts 24 hours earlier, Hodgson believes even Spain would have struggled to look good.
And he doesn't believe any comparisons with the world and European champions are accurate - or fair.
"Let's not idealise and say it won't ever happen to Spain," he said.
"Spain didn't get rave reviews in their match against Portugal at the Euros from what I remember.
"We didn't see Spain v Poland on Wednesday. It would have been interesting to see what they would have done.
"The other thing we have to accept is Spain have been doing it for the last six years and have got a team that's been playing together at club and international level for a long time.
"They have three fantastic trophies behind them. We're still trying to win a trophy 50 years after the last one."
Hodgson does not come across as someone who plays politics, so the only conclusion that can be drawn is that he believes England can be successful, relatively, in spite of themselves.
Without anyone really noticing, he has followed through Fabio Capello's revolution and more young players can expect to get their chances in next month's friendly with Sweden.
So far, Hodgson has been denied the services of Smalling, who he signed from Maidstone for Fulham before selling to Manchester United.
Jones went to Euro 2012 and never played, whilst Sterling has been one of the most eye-catching performers in Brendan Rodgers' difficult start to life at Liverpool.
"We might well have taken Raheem into our squad had the Under-21s not had such an important game," said Hodgson.
"And when Alex bought Smalling and Jones, he did so with a view to them being an important part of Manchester United's future.
"Let's be honest, if you are an important part of Manchester United's future, and you are English, then you have a big part to play in the England national team's future.
"I would like to think those two, and (Steven) Caulker if you want a third, can start to ask a few questions and put a few people under pressure."
Hodgson is now entering a difficult period for an international manager, when club football takes precedence and full squads cannot be guaranteed for the friendlies against Sweden, and Brazil in February.
Unlike his predecessors though, Hodgson has experienced this before; with Switzerland, Finland and UAE.
And he already has a plan.
"I won't be sitting on my backside doing nothing," he said.
"It's important that I get round to the clubs and see the managers.
"I want to keep contact with the players.
"Also, I'm hoping there will be the odd occasion at St George's Park when they will want me to do a little bit of coaching work."