England have been eliminated from the World Cup group stage for the first time in 56 years, but Sir Trevor Brooking, the Football Association's director of football development, is confident they can make amends by challenging for the 2018 crown.
Roy Hodgson's men needed Italy to beat Costa Rica to keep their feint hopes of making it out of Group D alive, having lost both their opening games for the first time in history.
It was not to be, though, as the Azzurri slipped to a shock defeat to Costa Rica, who the Three Lions will now face in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday with nothing but pride to play for.
The inquest into their embarrassing exit in Brazil will not make for pretty reading, but Brooking is confident the future is bright.
The West Ham fans' favourite is to retire from his position with the FA after the tournament and is confident there will be no such failure at the World Cup four years from now.
"There are lots of areas the FA board have supported in this new structure with some investment," Brooking told Press Association Sport, speaking at a Vauxhall and England Supporters' Club fan hub.
"To be honest, the next three to five years is about letting those people they have recruited over the last year get on and try to deliver. I am pretty confident they will.
"We've got some good young players and you've started to see one or two of them coming through to the seniors in the last year or two.
"Roy has given them a chance and we've got one or two others in the pipeline, so I think four to six years we will be quite dangerous hopefully in terms of depth of talent from an attacking point of view.
"There are some great people working in the background, which Dan Ashworth and Gareth Southgate have helped expand and bring in place. I know the quality of those people.
"I am just pleased there is a chance now for us to move forwards in the next three to five years and make us competitive.
"I am not going to say we are going to win this and that, but all I will say is that I think in 2018, 2020, whoever is the senior coach will have a depth of choice that will give him a chance."