England fly-half Toby Flood rued missed opportunities despite scoring all 18 points in the victory over Italy.
Flood kicked six penalties in the unconvincing 18-11 win at Twickenham which means England go to Cardiff to play a Wales side who can still snatch the Six Nations title.
A Wales win by seven points or more at the Millennium Stadium would result in a successful defence of their title, given their superior try-scoring record in the tournament.
"It's a pretty quiet dressing room," said Flood, whose boot kept England ahead after Luke McLean's try had reduced the arrears for the Azzurri.
"There's a fair amount of disappointment. We just couldn't seem to get ourselves into the game after half-time, which was frustrating. "We didn't have the ascendancy that we did have in the first half.
"We were pretty comfortable just before their try. We were in a good place, feeling we were about to kick on.
"We were really tested today, that 10 minutes after that try. We really had to be on our mettle and we did that and we managed to consolidate and make it right.
"It's disappointing not to have kicked on and not to have scored a couple of tries, because there certainly were the opportunities to.
"Had we managed to pick those up, we could've been in a position where we were able to have gone out there, express ourselves and kick on."
One of those spurned chances came when Flood was held up over the line after taking a ball from Alex Goode.
Flood talked of Italy's defence giving the illusion of space, with their drift and scramble defence meaning any gaps are swiftly closed.
At no point had England underestimated Italy, said Flood, who praised the backs-against-the-wall defending which will need to be repeated in Cardiff on Saturday against a resurgent Wales.
Flood believes the performance provided something of a reality check for England, who have plenty of room for improvement.
He added: "Wales will be pretty happy. Wales are in a situation now where them winning the championship isn't too far off.
"We'll be going there as underdogs, they've been playing very, very well of late.
"It's not a bad place for us to be, in terms of mentally. We need to be right on it."
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.