James Milner believes England have pulled together and can only improve as the World Cup goes on.
The Three Lions started their Group C campaign with dismal draws against USA and Algeria before Wednesday's vital victory over Slovenia.
Milner believes the 'make-or-break' situation of the final fixture brought out the best in Fabio Capello's squad and he is targeting further improvement ahead of Sunday's last 16 clash with Germany.
He said: "I think the last few days have brought everyone closer together.
"When things aren't going well, that's when you have to pull together and when it's make-or-break time you pull together as a group and we have done that.
"The longer you are together, and the further you get into the tournament, you are going to come together more.
"We knew it was a massive night against Slovenia, a big game and we knew what we needed to do.
"To go out there and do the business, and be part of the performance, was great."
The Aston Villa ace also cites a more laid back feeling amongst the players as a crucial factor in England's upturn in fortunes after the opening two draws.
He said: "There was a more relaxed build-up to the last game. We had a good few days' training and felt very sharp.
"We have had a couple of good days together, a few activities, and we were all feeling pretty happy and going into the game relaxed.
"For example, we had a quiz the other night, which was good fun. Everyone was involved and we had a good laugh.
"Liverpool won. We were in teams, so Jamie Carragher's knowledge of footie, and Stevie G (Gerrard), was pretty special.
"As players, you play in high-pressure situations week in, week out for your club.
"There are players who play in massive games - Champions League games, Premier League games each week.
"Obviously the World Cup is massive as well but I don't think it's fear. I think it is a bit of anxiety, wanting to do as well as you can."
Milner added: "You maybe try the hard thing because you want to make that contribution. Maybe that's it, trying a bit too hard.
"But against Slovenia we moved the ball around pretty well in the first half especially on a pretty tough pitch as well.
"I thought we played pretty well against a good team, got a good result and now we have to take that on to the Germany game."
Milner also feels it is better for a side to improve gradually in the tournament rather than peak too early.
He said: "We started slowly in the tournament and we know we are still not where we can play - but we are getting better.
"I am sure we would all rather start the tournament poorly and get better and better rather than the other way around.
"It's down to us to keep learning what we can do better, watch the game video, and hopefully improve again at the weekend."