Fabio Capello was in buoyant mood after seeing England display the spirit he had demanded to set up a last-16 World Cup showdown against Germany.
Jermain Defoe scored the only goal as England beat Slovenia and with the USA defeating Algeria it means Capello's men, who finished runners-up in Group C, will now face the Germans on Sunday. Now the England manager believes his team can only get better.
Capello said: "I saw the team play with the spirit that we lost in the games we played before this game (against USA and Algeria). The performance was really good and we created a lot of chances to score a second goal."
He added: "This is the spirit that I remember when we played in the qualification games. I am really happy with the performance of the team. We played hard, we attacked the ball and this is important if we want to win."
Capello's one piece of bad news was another injury setback for Wayne Rooney, who suffered a kick on the ankle which he first injured for Manchester United against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Rooney was replaced by Joe Cole after 71 minutes but the England boss is confident he will recover to take his place for the next match.
Capello said: "I substituted Wayne because his ankle was not so good, he has some problems. I have to wait for the doctor but I think it will be okay for the next game on Sunday."
The England manager also made a point of publicly patching up his relationship with former captain John Terry.
He embraced Terry at the final whistle even though the Chelsea defender had questioned his methods at the training camp in Rustenburg and made a thinly-veiled appeal for Joe Cole to be selected.
Capello said of Terry: "He is a leader. I have no problem with the players. I respect the players and they respect me. It was a very important performance from Terry but all the players played really well."