New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori admitted his men were outplayed by England in the third ODI in Auckland, but promised they would come back stronger to try and seal the series in Napier.
England won by six wickets to reduce the series deficit to 2-1, although they will need to win the remaining two matches to clinch the series.
After two convincing victories, Vettori acknowledged that New Zealand were outplayed by Paul Collingwood's men this time around.
"We were probably outplayed by England in pretty much every facet, particularly the way they bowled to us early on," Vettori told Sky Sports after the game.
"A feature of our play has been our top order batting in the last couple of games, but today England got on top of us and we just couldn't get a roll until Jacob (Oram) and I got together but by then it was probably little bit too late."
Oram and Vettori came together with the Black Caps languishing on 95-6, and their partnership of 74 helped the hosts reach 234-9.
Although they gave New Zealand a chance, Vettori was still not happy with the failure of the top order.
"It's been tough for them not having a lot of cricket over the last week or so but that's no excuse, you've still got to step up when you get the chance," he added.
"I think we were 60-4 and most teams when they're 60-4 will struggle to bring it back.
"Whilst we got to 230 and thought we've given ourselves a chance, we had to start well, but the Bell-Pietersen partnership probably took the game away from us."
Heading into the fourth match in Napier, Vettori is confident New Zealand can respond and clinch a 4-1 series win.
"I think we've got to back ourselves, Napier's a pretty good ground for us and a place we like playing and know pretty well so hopefully we can pick ourselves up.
"A few guys are going to play domestic cricket on Sunday and then we'll get together again and Wednesday we've got to come back hard, because England responded in the right fashion like we did after the Twenty20s so I suppose the ball's in our court."
Oram was the top scorer with 88, and he said they always expected England to come back strongly after their two defeats.
"I thought to get to 220, 230 was a pretty good effort by the lower and middle order, but walking off I thought we were going to have to bowl real well here to win the match," said Oram.
"I thought we were 20 or 30 runs short and as it turned out that's pretty much what it was.
"I said it after the second game, the class players in this England team weren't going to stay down for long, unfortunately it was today.
"It would have been nice to have won it and clinched the series but they've just made it even harder for us so its going to be a pretty crunch last couple of games."