Fabio Capello believes England have recaptured the spirit that swept them to World Cup qualification after booking their place in the last 16 with a 1-0 victory over Slovenia.
The Three Lions arrived in South Africa on the back of an impressive qualification campaign which brought nine wins from ten games.
Disappointing draws with the United States and Algeria had left England needing to defeat Slovenia in their final game to qualify for the last 16 and Capello's side scraped a 1-0 win in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday afternoon to progress.
Jermain Defoe's first-half strike was enough put them into the next stage, but Capello's men finished as Group C runners-up and must face old foes Germany in the first knockout round following USA's last-gasp 1-0 triumph over Algeria.
But despite failing to win the group, Capello believes his players are slowly beginning to recapture their best form at a vital time.
"I saw the team play with the spirit that we lost in the games we played before this game," he said.
"The performance was really good and we created a lot of chances to score a second goal.
"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.
"We found the physicality that we know usually. The players were the same that we see in the Premier League."
Meanwhile, Capello expects Wayne Rooney to be fit to face Germany on Sunday despite substituting the Manchester United striker after he took a blow to the ankle in the second half.
"I substituted Wayne because his ankle was not so good, he has some problems," explained the Italian.
"I have to wait for the doctor but I think it will be okay for the next game on Sunday."