Wales captain Aaron Ramsey admitted that his side had been unable to recover from an awful start in their 2-0 defeat to England in their Euro 2012 Group G qualifier at the Millennium Stadium.
An early Frank Lampard penalty, after a foul by James Collins on Ashley Young, and a strike from Darren Bent decided the game within the opening 15 minutes.
Wales improved after the break but rarely threatened to pull a goal back as England dominated.
And Ramsey, who led his country for the first time today, told Sky Sports 1: "We gave away two early goals and never recovered, we had a slow start. It left us too big a mountain to climb.
"We showed glimpses of what we are capable of doing, but the pitch was quite dry and we could not get enough pace in our attacks but that's no excuse, we had a slow start and it cost us."
But the Arsenal man believes that there is plenty for Gary Speed's side to take forward, particularly from their improved second-half display.
"It was a great occasion (to lead the side for the first time) although the result has put a downer on it, but we will bounce back from this.
"This is a stepping stone and we will continue to progress and hopefully we can become a successful side."
Aston Villa winger Young was named man of the match but he insisted the game had not been an easy one.
He said: "We always knew it would be a tough game but that if we scored early we would be on the front foot. We did that, I won the penalty and Lampard stuck it away.
"But we knew in the second half they would come at us and they did that and we defended really well.
"We have worked hard on getting the ball back and you could see the way the boys were pressing and on many occasions we managed to get it back."
The win moves England back to the top of Group G and Young added: "The main thing is to get the three points and get back to the top of the group, and if we can keep putting in more good performances hopefully we can stay there."
England manager Fabio Capello was pleased to see his switch to a 4-3-3 formation work.
"We played really well, we passed the ball quickly and created chances to score goals with no chances for Wales," he said.
"The goals that we scored were really nice and in every moment we were focussed on the game which was important.
"I decided, after watching games Wales have played, I decided for (Scott) Parker and two midfielders. I decided for a new position for (Wayne) Rooney and Ashley Young.
"When we are defending they stay wide, when we have the ball Wayne comes in and it was a problem for Wales.
"This formation is really good because some players like Ashley Young are improving a lot."
The one down side for Capello was Rooney's booking which means he will miss the next qualifier against Switzerland.
"I know, I told him he will miss the next game, it's not good news for us," the Italian added.
Capello also hopes that will be able to speak to Rio Ferdinand over the coming days and explain why he was stood down as captain in favour of John Terry.
"Yes, I hope that I will meet him and speak with him about what really happened and my decision," Capello said.