Frank Lampard believes it will take time for England to find the right balance of youth and experience before they perform at their best on a regular basis.
England needed midfielder Lampard's late penalty to salvage a point from a 1-1 draw with Ukraine in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifier on Tuesday.
After the euphoria of the 5-0 win over Moldova, and excellent performances from Tom Cleverley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Wembley encounter was a reality check for Roy Hodgson's side, with a number of displays some way below par.
It also highlighted the challenge facing England to top their qualifying group with Poland and Montenegro also likely to pose stern tests.
Lampard said: "Ukraine are no mugs at all, they're a good team, they've got wingers who are particularly good on the ball, they have experience in the team.
"It won't be an easy group, and Poland and Montenegro as well, will be teams that cause you problems. Poland and Montenegro have drawn already, and the group is pretty well balanced.
"Poland in the next away game will be very tough. But there is a need to be patient.
"It won't always click straight away. It won't always click anyway. This is international football you are talking about and these are difficult games.
"But with young players, experienced players, it's about trying to find the right blend.
"We can get excited about the win in Moldova, but you always have to keep your feet on the ground and understand it's a process of getting to where we want to be.
"Last night was another night in that process."
Stacked opposition defence
Lampard admits England have to show more invention against sides who will sit back and defend in numbers as Ukraine were content to do after taking the lead.
He said: "Home advantage has its advantages but, if a team comes and sets up very well against you, it can also produce an element of frustration.
"Ukraine are particularly suited for counter-attacking football because their wingers are quick and, when teams have got that, they can sit back and cause you problems.
"When a team sits back, which they did, maybe that is where we need to show a bit more invention and that was a negative out of the night.
"But I don't think we can criticise too much because we did keep going. The subs were very sharp and we got in behind them, had shots, hit the post, and had a perfectly good goal disallowed.
"It was maybe slightly flat at times but the character overrides the fact it was slightly flat.
"The away game with Ukraine can be a completely different game. They have to come out and play by being at home and it will throw up a different game to this one."
Lampard held his nerve to score from the spot for the second successive match and move level with Bryan Robson on 26 goals for his country.
He said: "I am proud to equal Bryan Robson's record but was more pleased to see it hit the back of the net to gain us a point really.
"There were only five or six minutes to go and I knew the importance of it.
"Someone has to take the penalties and I've got experience of taking them at that point in a game.
"They are never easy and I was pleased to score, especially having taken one only a few days ago, because you know keepers watch every penalty you take now. That puts more pressure on."
Probed on whether he thrives on stepping up in such moments, he added: "Do I relish penalties in that situation? A difficult question. It is obviously great to get it to get us back in the game but ideally you wouldn't have them in that sort of position.
"You relish it when it hits the back of the net but that minute before, you go into the zones and make sure you try and score it."