Fabio Capello blamed the 'Wembley factor' for England's lacklustre performance against Wales in the Euro 2012 qualifier on Tuesday night.
The England manager saw his side scrape a crucial 1-0 win but he believes the pressure of playing in front of a home crowd drains his players of confidence.
Ashley Young scored the only goal of the game in the first half but Capello was left feeling thankful that Wales substitute Robert Earnshaw spooned a sitter over the crossbar from six yards with 15 minutes remaining.
Capello said of playing at Wembley: "I think here we lose the confidence. Some players who can usually dribble and can go straight for the goal do not. I want always three players in front of the goal and there was only one.
"But I am happy for the result. It was the most important thing. When you play at Wembley the opponents want to play with more courage and pressure.
"When we played qualification matches for the World Cup we played very well and we never had problems when we played at home, but not today. Today there was the pressure of the result. When you play without the pressure (of the result) it is different. You can do something with a free mind. You play well.
"The players suffered this evening. They never played fast."
The result leaves England needing a point in Montenegro on October 7 to be sure of qualifying for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
When asked if they were fortunate to be in such a position after Earnshaw's blooper, Capello said: "Yes, we made a big mistake in front of the goal and we had luck. We did not play the last 15 minutes well. We suffered a lot. We didn't play good passes and never pressed the ball."
Capello, however, did reserve praise for goalscorer Young.
"Ashley Young is a good player," he said. "He is a really important player for us. His movement with and without the ball is technically very good."
Capello also looked forward to the decisive clash with Montenegro, saying: "Montenegro will be a big, difficult game. It will be a really warm atmosphere."