Glen Johnson has hailed the "fantastic" job done by new England head coach Roy Hodgson and believes the future is bright despite the disappointment of exiting Euro 2012 via a penalty shoot-out.
The Liverpool full-back was of several players in the England squad who already knew of Hodgson's methods from his spell in charge at Anfield.
But Johnson had been impressed with the impact Hodgson had already made before England were beaten 4-2 on penalties by Italy in last night's quarter-final in Kiev.
He said: "What impact has Hodgson made? I think he has done fantastic and in such a short space of time.
"To come into the job so close to the start of a major tournament is never going to be easy in setting down your laws and the way you want things to be run.
"But I think he has gradually tried to set out what he wants to do and the lads have adapted.
"The lads have been around the game a long time so they are not stupid.
"Things are going to settle in quite quickly and I think things are looking bright for the future as long as we keep going the way we are."
Johnson added: "We can definitely go into the World Cup qualifiers feeling confident. There are more positives than negatives.
"Not many people thought we were going to get out of the group, yet alone win it, and to come so close to making the semi-finals has got to be positive.
"If we defend like we have done in this tournament, and are hard to beat, it's going to be a tough game for anyone."
Johnson does admit, however, that England need to learn to keep possession of the ball better, with the Italians dominating in that department for long periods.
He said: "Again today we worked well as a team, we defended well and we caused them a few problems.
"But they had the majority of possession and, when you haven't got the ball, you are working that bit harder.
"When we did have the ball, we weren't fresh enough to cause as much damage as we would have liked and there were bits of lapses in concentration.
"Seeing more of the ball is important. There were times when we gave the ball away cheaply.
"We definitely need to keep the ball a bit better and then, when we do go forward, we will be a bit fresher to cause them more problems.
"The longer we keep the ball, the easier it is going to be for ourselves.
"The positive is even though we didn't have much of the ball, it didn't feel as if they were going to score.
"We limited them to quite a few long range shots which we are comfortable with, with Joe Hart in goal."