England manager Roy Hodgson was delighted with his side's response to going behind as they fought back to defeat Slovenia 3-2 to remain top of their group in Euro 2016 qualifying.
Striker Wayne Rooney moved to within one goal of equalling England's all-time scoring record when his late goal secured the win and kept up the Group E leaders' 100% record in qualifying.
Jack Wilshere twice smashed the ball into the top corner from outside the area, his first international goals, as England moved within touching distance of the finals in France with 18 points from six Group E games, nine points above second-placed Slovenia.
Milivoje Novakovic had coolly given the hosts a 37th minute lead after a series of England errors and Nejc Pecnik made it 2-2 late on, before a defensive howler set up Rooney for his 48th England goal, one behind record holder Bobby Charlton.
Hodgson said he was pleased with the spirit of his team, especially at the end of a busy season.
"We like to think that the team spirit is getting better. The mere fact that you chose 24 players in the middle of what is normally regarded as a player's holiday, and all 24 turn up and work very hard during a ten-day period and, as you saw today, they didn't leave much on the field in terms of their effort and determination. So, we are very happy about those things," he said at a news conference after the game.
He was also delighted with his team's ability to come back from a goal behind.
"We are going to have to come back [from a goal down] sometimes, if we are going to become a good football team. We are going to make mistakes, technical mistakes sometimes, tactical mistakes sometimes, and we are going to concede goals. And, if every time we concede a goal we can't get back and win the game then it is going to be problematic. It is very, very hard to go through long periods of time never conceding a goal. We all know it is a good way to win games, keeping a clean sheet, of course, but it is easier said than done," said a jovial Hodgson after England finished their season undefeated.
England's good form represents a positive turnaround after a very disappointing World Cup campaign that saw them leave Brazil in the group stages without a win to their name.
They have now gone 11 matches undefeated, the first time England have managed the feat since 1996.
"From starting off again, eight wins and two draws, that's not been done, I don't think, for well over 20 years. I think the players deserve some credit for that. Certainly they get a lot of credit from me for that. And now we just have got to keep building on it. And when you're on an unbeaten run, you're very anxious to keep that unbeaten run going, and that's what we all should be doing," said Hodgson.
Rooney missed several chances during the match, and was clattered by Slovenian captain Bostjan Cesar late in the game. However, the Manchester United forward kept his cool and put the match to bed in the 86th minute with a calm finish past Samir Handanovic.
Hodgson said Rooney's performance showed that England could rely on their talismanic striker.
"Wayne Rooney's performance today said a lot of things about him as a man, I think. I mean, just before he took that goal chance he took a nasty blow from an elbow, which could have decked many a player and what's more could have caused him to lose his discipline, and he didn't because he was immediately up and concentrating on his job and his role in the team. And the fact that one or two chances have gone begging, when he got a chance there with the goalkeeper he put it away with aplomb. That goes to show that we can rely on that man,"
"I would have liked to see him get a hat trick today, so all the talk of the record would have been finished, but he's got plenty of time and maybe it will give me something to talk about in the months ahead," added Hodgson.
Despite the loss, Slovenia played well and were only minutes away from securing a draw with their opponents.
The loss means Slovenia are now nine points behind England, but will be hopeful they can claim second place above Switzerland and Estonia.