Gary Cahill admitted it was "bizarre" for England to prepare to face Belgium with people suggesting it was better for them to lose, but insisted that finishing second in Group G will not derail their momentum at the World Cup.
Defeat has actually given England what appears on paper to be a more favourable knockout path, though they must now face a dangerous Colombia team in the round of 16 rather than a Japan side who only qualified from Group H thanks to a better fair play record than Senegal.
Cahill insisted that the discussion ahead of the match did not affect England's attitude on the pitch, and added that he is confident the loss will not have any lasting effects on their confidence or performance level.
"The Belgium match was a strange game and I say that because we were already qualified and facing a situation where all the teams in the knockout stage have similar ability," he told the Evening Standard. "There are some very good teams in there.
"It was bizarre before the start -- to be in a World Cup game where people were arguing beforehand whether it was better to finish second or first in the group.
"But we didn't enter the game in that manner. We went to win so in that respect we are disappointed.
"I don't think there was anything in the game. It was a great finish by them, which separated the sides. We had a couple of really good chances but there was nothing in it."
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Colombia are expected to present stiff opposition in Moscow on Tuesday, but Cahill is adamant that England are prepared for the challenge.
"It doesn't derail us," he added. "It won't affect our momentum. It was disappointing to lose the game but we have lost nothing.
"This is an opportunity to go through to the next round. We are going into it with a lot of positivity. We have earned the right to play in this game.
"Colombia are a very good side but it's all ifs and buts isn't it? It's going to be difficult, but they will all be. It's like any competition, the longer you stay in it, the less likely you're going to dodge any big teams.
"This is the business end. The next match is the important one, we look no further than that."