Former England captain Steven Gerrard believes fear manifested itself in the international camp after their humiliating Euro 2016 exit – but is confident they can bounce back.
A number of players such as goalkeeper Joe Hart and forward Harry Kane failed to deliver at the tournament, which ultimately cost national team boss Roy Hodgson his job after an embarrassing defeat to Iceland in the last 16.
Gerrard, who is currently third in the all-time appearance list with 114 caps for the Three Lions, says the young England side found it difficult to cope with expectations of the country.
“I think there’s a huge fear in amongst the group at the moment,” he told the FA website. “Expectations are very, very high – it’s a very pressured situation to be an England player.
“There’s a very young set of players there who are not used to that pressure, but they will be used to it in years to come.
“This experience and this hurt, I think, will help all of those players moving forward because they won’t want to experience it again. They’ll want to improve and get better.
“With the right manager and the right coaching staff around this group, I think they can take it to the next level.”