James Anderson admits New Zealand have made England's first innings look even worse after piling up 402-7 on day three in Dunedin.
England were skittled out for 167 on a flat pitch at the University Oval and - led by debutant Hamish Rutherford's superb 171 - the Kiwis made full use of the benign conditions.
It was a sobering day for the tourists, Anderson having to labour for his 4-108, and the Lancashire fast bowler admitted that if he managed to score 23 at No 10, England's batsmen should have filled their boots.
"I batted on it and thought it was a pretty good deck," said Anderson. "For me to get 20, it must be fairly flat.
"Most Test pitches are, and we know that. But we can't dwell too much on our first innings; we've got to think about batting much better in the second innings."
England were marginally improved with the ball, after allowing New Zealand to rattle up 131-0 on the second day.
"It was better...still not quite there, but I thought we bowled much better than we did yesterday, asked a lot more questions of them," Anderson said.
"We bowled really well with the second new ball, and I thought Stuart Broad bowled well all the way through and was unlucky not to pick up more wickets.
"We tried to focus on staying patient, because it can be difficult as a bowling group when you're behind the eight ball, as we are in this game.
"You try and chase it a bit too much, and I think we probably did that yesterday - just slipped into that trap of getting a bit greedy at times, and trying to take wickets rather than just trying to hang in there on a good pitch and wait for them to make mistakes."
Anderson found it hard to keep his feelings to himself at times, particularly when chances went down, and he admitted: "It was probably more a bit of frustration boiling up from yesterday.
"We had chances go down, nicks going through the slips, so we could have had more rewards for how we bowled today.
"So it was probably just a mixture of the position of where we are in the game and how we bowled.
"Our job is to create chances, and when you do that and they're not taken then it can be frustrating. That does build up, and comes out in various ways with your emotions high."