Wayne Rooney accepts missing England's first two games at UEFA EURO 2012 is the price he must pay for a moment of madness in Montenegro.
With so few world-class stars at England's disposal, Rooney's absence from those Group D encounters with France and Sweden has dealt a major blow to the team's preparations.
Yet it could have been worse after Rooney successfully appealed against an initial three-match suspension for kicking Miodrag Dzudovic in Podgorica.
"It is the price I have to pay for making that mistake," Rooney told BBC TV's Football Focus. "It happened and I have to accept it. I will just prepare myself as if I was playing and hopefully come back into a winning team."
Rooney looks like he will get additional responsibility under new manager Roy Hodgson.
Rooney wore the captain's armband against Belgium at Wembley on Saturday following the departure of Steven Gerrard and was sat next to manager Roy Hodgson for the official team photo.
So, whilst he was one of those who spoke out in favour of Harry Redknapp following Fabio Capello's exit, Rooney is happy working with Hodgson
"When you have a change of manager, regardless who it is, you always think they might be looking to bring fresh players in," he said. "He said straight away he would take me, which was nice to here.
"Already you can see he is very organised, which is something we have lacked during my time with England. It is great to have an Englishman in change."
Rooney revealed England cannot afford to get beaten by the French, if only because it would unleash the ridicule of Old Trafford team-mate Patrice Evra.
Optimism outside the camp is not high. Inside, though, Rooney feels there is enough belief to sustain a run to the latter stages of the competition.
"We are trying and no-one should even think we are just turning up," he said. "Sometimes when you lose, you have to hold your hands up.
"But when you look at our squad, I don't see why can't win it. There have been a lot of changes but I will expect big things.
"If other people don't that is down to them. But we are good enough to get in semi-finals and finals. That is the aim."