Wayne Rooney accepts missing England's first two games at Euro 2012 is the price he must pay for a moment of madness in Montenegro.
With so few world-class stars at England's disposal, Rooney's absence from those Group D encounters with France and Sweden has dealt a major blow to the team's preparations.
Yet it could have been worse had UEFA not taken a lenient view when Rooney appealed against an initial three-match suspension for kicking Miodrag Dzudovic in Podgorica. He told BBC TV's Football Focus: "It is the price I have to pay for making that mistake."
He added: "It happened and I have to accept it. I will just prepare myself as if I was playing and hopefully come back into a winning team."
Rooney looks like he will get additional responsibility under new manager Roy Hodgson. The Manchester United striker was offered additional time off prior to Wednesday's departure for Krakow, although he turned it down.
Rooney wore the captain's armband against Belgium at Wembley on Saturday following the departure of Steven Gerrard and was sat next to manager Roy Hodgson for the official team photo.
So, whilst he was one of those who spoke out in favour of Harry Redknapp following Fabio Capello's exit, Rooney is happy working with Hodgson
"When you have a change of manager, regardless who it is, you always think they might be looking to bring fresh players in," he said.
"He said straight away he would take me, which was nice to here. Already you can see he is very organised, which is something we have lacked during my time with England.
"It is great to have an Englishman in change."