Roy Hodgson has admitted that England feel the pressure to perform well at a major tournament ahead of their Euro 2012 opener against France.
The Three Lions have not tasted success at a major international tournament since 1966, when they won the World Cup on home soil.
And, on the eve of Monday's clash in Donetsk, a French journalist used England's miserable record since that glorious Wembley day to question whether they were a major football power.
Hodgson recognises that England must respond to such jibes by showing they can compete with the finest sides in Europe this summer.
"Of course we feel the weight of history," he said.
"It was a facetious question but there was a little element of truth in what he was saying.
"As a top nation we haven't won as many tournaments as we should or done as well as we should.
"We all feel that weight and there's nothing we can do to take it off our shoulders except make certain we embrace the tournament, that we are not afraid of it and that we believe in ourselves.
"It's a fact of life. But I think before the very good French period we could have levelled a similar accusation against them."
It seemed England's feathers were ruffled by that major power taunt.
"You didn't actually need to remind me," Hodgson said of England's World Cup win.
"That has crossed my mind on one or two occasions."
Skipper Steven Gerrard was even more forthright, as he insisted the players would use such remarks to spur them on to try and end England's long wait for silverware.
"Questions like that are more of a motivation," said Gerrard.
"I don't see them as something to react to or an accusation.
"I have belief in my team-mates. I see it in training, I see it week in, week out in the Premier League.
"It comes more from not performing in tournaments. But three times we have been a penalty kick away from getting to the last four.
"If we had done, people's perceptions would have been a lot different.
"In one tournament very soon it will click, we will get that bit of luck and prove an awful lot of people wrong, like that (French) fellow who was sitting at the back."