Roy Hodgson said England’s comeback win against World Cup holders Germany was his “finest night as England manager”.
Eric Dier’s injury-time header sealed a 3-2 win, after England trailed 2-0, in Berlin’s Olympiastadion on Saturday.
“It is a friendly game and we have got an awful long way to go before we can claim to be anything like Germany with all they have achieved,” Hodgson said.
Toni Kroos and Mario Gomez put Germany two goals up but Harry Kane and substitute Jamie Vardy levelled.
Hodgson, 68, replaced Fabio Capello ahead of Euro 2012, where England were beaten in the quarter-finals by Italy.
His team breezed through their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, only to suffer an ignominious group-stage exit in Brazil.
Hodgson has seen his team beat Brazil and France in Wembley friendlies, as well as earn a credible draw against the Brazilians in the Maracana.
Now he wants the inexperienced side which beat Germany to remain “hungry and humble” as they continue to prepare for the Euro 2016 finals in France this summer.
“Having admitted somewhat reluctantly that this is my best night as England manager, we don’t want to forget that this team are a work in progress,” said the former West Brom manager.
“We must remain humble in these moments.”
‘Good step forward – but it is only a friendly’
England’s display, and the emergence of youngsters such as Spurs duo Kane and man-of-the-match Dele Alli, will not harm confidence ahead of Euro 2016, added Hodgson.
The Three Lions have been drawn alongside Wales, Russia and Slovakia in Group B.
But Hodgson was keen to dampen any prospect of rising expectation after the victory in Berlin.
“I say again this is a friendly match and you always have to be careful how much importance you attach to them,” he said.
“If it had been Germany rather than ourselves who had got that late goal I would not have been sitting here bitterly disappointed. I still would have been quite pleased at the way we played.
“We have got four more friendly games and two and a half months of work before we play the game that really counts for something against Russia in Marseille in our first game of Euro 2016.”
‘England playing without fear’
Hodgson also believes his new-look England team – which had only 161 caps in its starting line-up – is now playing without fear.
Missing skipper Wayne Rooney and goalkeeper Joe Hart through injury, Hodgson handed a debut to left-back Danny Rose, plus starts to matchwinner Dier and keeper Jack Butland.
However, Stoke keeper Butland is being assessed by England’s medical staff after he was injured in the first half, shortly before Real Madrid midfielder Kroos put the home side ahead.
“Fearlessness is a good word and we bandy it about a lot when we are talking with the team. We are always encouraging them to show positivity and composure and be comfortable with the ball – not to panic every time someone comes and pressurises you.
“We have encouraged them to be prepared to risk the more difficult pass and I think they did that very well here.”
Let’s try to win Euro 2016 – Waddle
England must aim high after beating Germany and target success in France this summer, says former England winger Chris Waddle.
“I’m fed up of us going to a tournament, like Brazil, saying it is a learning curve, the next one is a learning curve,” said the BBC Radio 5 live pundit.
“What are we building for? Qatar? All these players going to the tournament are first-choice Premier League players. Let’s try to win it.
“Do Germany go to a tournament and say it is a learning curve? Will France be saying it is a learning curve for the World Cup in Russia? No.
“None of these teams go to go out in the quarter-finals, pat themselves on the back and say well done.”