In the aftermath of their 38-12 victory over Scotland in Coventry, England five-eighth George Williams admitted his side lacked motivation and effort through most of the first half.
The Lions were sluggish out of the gates, leaking two tries inside the first 25 minutes of the match to trail the Bravehearts 8-0, before an improved second period saw them clear away on the scoreboard.
Rookie playmaker Williams said that at times England didn't produce the basics required to compete at international level, and called on his side to fix it in a hurry ahead of this week's clash with tournament leaders Australia in London.
"I think we just lacked enthusiasm, Scotland brought plenty of that and they blew us away a little bit, [it was] definitely disappointing," Williams said.
"We were just a little bit flat… once we got in rhythm we clicked a little bit.
"A win is a win, but [that was] disappointing to start.
"Fair play to Scotland who came out and really put us under the pump.
"Now we have just got to try and beat Australia and see where that puts us… a whole new level [is what we need]."
After suffering a heartbreaking 17-16 loss to the Kiwis in their first match of the Four Nations, the consensus among the England players post-match was that the performance against Scotland had been a step backwards for them.
Winger Jermaine McGillvary, who was one the host nation's best on Sunday morning (AEDT), running for 104 metres, registering a line break and crossing for a try, didn't mince his words either.
"That was probably a bit embarrassing there in the end, even though we won," McGillvary said.
"That is not where we want to be and where we need to be.
"Today wasn't great, and we know that.
"[We need to be] a lot better, we need to be on the same level that we played last week (against the Kiwis), probably even better, just to compete with Australia.
"We have got a week to fix it."