Andrew Strauss insisted England had not become a bad side overnight after they were whitewashed 3-0 by Pakistan in Dubai.
Skipper Strauss acknowledged, though, there had been "a consistent failure" from his side as Pakistan sealed a 71-run today to complete a miserable series for England.
"I think I am a little bit surprised that we didn't get bigger scores on the board over the the Test matches," Strauss told Sky Sports.
"There was a consistent failure on our part.
"You don't become a great side overnight and you don't become a bad side overnight, but there are lessons we need to learn.
"We played better in the third Test than at the start of the first but that's too little too late."
England's batsmen endured a miserable series, dismissed for 72 in their second innings in the first Test and collapsing after the bowlers had bowled out Pakistan for 99 in their first innings in the third.
"Test cricket is difficult by its very nature, especially if you allow opposition bowlers to get on top of you," Strauss added.
"I've got great faith in our players, but in a way this is an eye-opener for us that things don't get easier they get harder.
"Having bowled Pakistan out for 99 in the first innings we had a great position to take the game by the scruff of the neck. But we were not good enough to make the most of that promising start."
But Strauss insisted the team would not make knee-jerk changes to the team for the series against Sri Lanka.
He continued: "It's going to take a little time for this to all sink in, but we haven't been in the business of panic changes and chopping and changing the side too much and I don't think we'll start now."