England's win in Switzerland was the "perfect start" to their European Championship qualifying campaign and one which Danny Welbeck is confident they can build on.
A miserable display at the World Cup has made the last few months difficult for all those associated with the national team.
It has led to apathy and some anger, although the mood was lifted somewhat on Monday night by a morale-boosting win against Switzerland.
Welbeck's second-half strikes proved the difference as Roy Hodgson's side ran out 2-0 victors in Basle, confounding the critics with a fine display in their most daunting Group E fixture.
Switzerland 0 England 2 - player ratings
Switzerland 0 England 2 - player ratings
1/11 Joe Hart
Returning to his imposing best. Underworked in first half as Lichtsteiner shot over. Strong saves from Seferovic before being rounded by Drmic. 7/10
2/11 John Stones (left)
Forced to play out of position again but not unduly troubled. Turned easily on occasion but overall was unfazed on the biggest night of his career. 6
3/11 Gary Cahill
More experienced centre-back and held backline together with authority. Struggled on turn at times. Trademark clearance off line from Drmic. 7
4/11 Phil Jones
Fell into Seferovic to halt one Swiss attack. Ceded possession before being bailed out by Hart. Close with header and cleared from under how own crossbar. 6
5/11 Leighton Baines
Caught late by Shaqiri in opening minutes but was danger with delivery from left side. Enjoyed freedom to spend large periods in the Swiss half. 6
6/11 Jack Wilshere
Too easily robbed of possession but enjoyed space to influence proceedings. Clever ball to Rooney came to nothing and had shot deflected past post. 7
7/11 Fabian Delph
Handed competitive debut and too hyped early. Left foot in on Behrami before diving in on Lichtsteiner. Rarely gave ball away and should have won penalty. 7
8/11 Jordan Henderson
Overcame injury worries to maintain place in centre of the park. Tidy in possession and aided forward momentum as England prospered on counter. 6
9/11 Raheem Sterling
England’s latest great hope kept the hosts occupied with his quick feet and canny movement. Played major role in move for Welbeck’s opener. 7
10/11 Wayne Rooney
Failed to control Wilshere pass in front of goal and close with header before dropping back to orchestrate move for opener. Best showing for a long time. 8
11/11 Danny Welbeck
Arsenal new boy replaced Sturridge. Chose wrong option after steaming in off right wing but showed composure to find net twice to earn the points. 8
"I think the whole team is smiling," Welbeck said after his match-winning contribution.
"It was a good performance and stuff we have been working on in training has really come off tonight and that is a pleasing factor.
"We had to soak up the pressure when we went one ahead, but we defended really well as a team and limited their chances.
"We set up our game plan a bit different because, once they were a bit more in control of the game, we had to work on the counter-attack.
"But we knew we had the players and the speed to break them down. In the dying minutes we got that second goal."
England set-up at St Jakob-Park in a 4-4-2 diamond formation, with Welbeck leading the line alongside Wayne Rooney.
The 23-year-old has made no secret of his preference to play as striker and hopes to get more chances to do so with the national team as well as new club Arsenal.
"I enjoy playing further up the pitch," Welbeck said. "That's well known and when I get my opportunity I am just looking to take it.
"Thankfully today I got the two goals, but it is credit to the whole team really with the way we played, the way we attacked.
"It was the perfect start to the qualifiers, but we need to carry this on now and make sure we prepare for every single game tactically and mentally."
The victory means England will reconvene for next month's double header against San Marino and Estonia with renewed confidence.
That positivity may also well rub off the fans, who turned up in force at St Jakob-Park just days after Wembley recorded its lowest ever international attendance since being rebuilt for the friendly against Norway.
"Credit to the fans for making the journey," Welbeck said.
"It is a difficult one because at the World Cup we didn't do as well as many people expected to do, but we have got great fans.
"They followed us here, the support was amazing and thankfully we have sent them home happy."