Fabio Capello left in no doubt about the size of the task dragging England out of the wilderness.
Fabio Capello left no doubt about the size of the task facing him as he tries to drag England out of the international wilderness.
Capello's arrival as England coach has already served as a sudden burst of shock therapy for a squad whose inflated reputations have rendered them increasingly complacent.
But the Italian is far too shrewd to portray himself as the saviour of his adopted country's national team because he is well aware how far England have fallen in the last two years.
Failure to qualify for Euro 2008 has left English football at its lowest ebb for over a decade and Capello believes it will be a lengthy process to reverse that slide.
"To begin with I'm not a messiah, I am just someone who tries to get results through hard work. I need to enter completely into this frame of mind," he said.
"We can't perform miracles in three days. The important thing is to create a good group and make sure the team moves in the right way on the pitch."
"This is one of the basic, essential points for me. We've only just started our work. Give us time in order to show our results on the pitch."
Capello wasted no time laying down the law to his new charges ahead of his first match against Switzerland as he instituted a raft of rules aimed at bringing the squad closer together.
He is convinced England's lack of unity affected their willingness to fight for each other during crucial moments of the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.When the chips were down against Russia and Croatia, Steve McClaren's team wilted.
Under Capello, bravery will be valued higher than individual talent.
To that end England's cosseted stars can expect to check their egos at the hotel door. Capello is already preparing a series of video nasties aimed at underlining exactly where they can improve.
"What I will try to pass on to the team is getting back their winning mentality, being confident in their own means and playing bravely," Capello said.
"When we are at home we are a team and a group. When we play away we need to be more confident in our strength and we need to be braver."
"Teams are built starting from what can be improved. I will show them their mistakes and tell them they can learn from them and improve."
"I'll watch the match against Switzerland over and over again. When we get back together I will show them the good and bad things and where they have room for improvement."
"During the training sessions we will work on these things. This work will take us into the Andorra game in September with a certain mentality."
"We need to forget what happened in the past. We need a positive mindset and must always look ahead. That is a very important aspect of my job."
Capello's demand that all his players arrive and leave at the same time for meals, together with his ban on wives, agents and friends visiting the hotel, is part of an understandable desire to maximise the short time England are together on international duty.
Even a relatively relaxing round of golf will be out of bounds for the players as Capello aims to build a close-knit squad.
"I believe that three days is not a long time to stay in the hotel and gel together and create a group mentality," he said.
"If everyone leaves as soon as the training session finishes then three days is not enough to get to know each other. It is important to spend time together."
"I believe it is better if they stay in their own rooms for the moment. On Thursday they can play all the golf they like."