Sir Trevor Brooking has revealed he would have settled for a quarter-final place for England before the start of Euro 2012.
The Three Lions confirmed their place in the last eight thanks to a 1-0 win over Ukraine on Tuesday night, while France's surprise 2-0 defeat to Sweden ensured Roy Hodgson’s side finished top of Group D to set up a date with Italy on Sunday.
Sir Trevor, who works for the Football Association as Director of Football Development, has been delighted with the progress England have made under new boss Hodgson, and believes the lack of expectation among English fans has aided their cause.
He told Sky Sports News: "If you had said to me a month ago how long it was going to last, I would have snatched your hand off to be having to a chat looking forward to the quarter-finals.
"It has probably helped that expectation was low. The manager came in a bit late. Then suddenly people like Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and Gary Cahill were injured. Younger players; Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker, Jack Rodwell, Jack Wilshere aren't here either.
"We knew Wayne was going to miss the first two games everyone was saying: 'Are we going to be strong enough? Can we score the goals?' People thought we would do well to get out of the group. Initially that is what we all said.
"Here we are, having topped the group. But like any sporting occasion you get a little bit greedy."
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However, while many observers feel England will be delighted to have avoided the Spaniards, Sir Trevor believes fans cannot afford to get ahead of themselves due to the unpredictable nature of the competition.
He added: "Everyone said we would probably end up with Spain because we were second in the group. Then France lose. Everyone spoke about Holland, who have gone home without a point.
"You cannot anticipate. You just have to focus. Everyone is talking about us playing against Germany. We know that won't be the case unless we get through against Italy.
"We just have to appreciate we have come quite a way in three weeks and we don't want to waste it now."