Sven-Goran Eriksson declared the current England squad to be the most confident he has worked with - but warned the public not to expect a goal feast against Azerbaijan today.
Eriksson is worried that Azerbaijan's 8-0 weekend defeat by Poland could raise expectations to an unrealistic level at St James' Park for tonight's World Cup qualifier.
While urging his players to repeat their encouraging display against Northern Ireland, he admitted he would settle for a 1-0 win to keep the team's qualifying hopes on track.
However, in selecting an unchanged line-up, Eriksson appeared relaxed as he talked up his squad's potential ahead of the 2006 World Cup finals.
"I think this squad is the best I've had since I came to this country. It's a confident squad and one that can keep the ball much better than we did in the past," he said.
"One of our goals is to try and be as good technically as the best in the world, like Brazil. The confidence that I feel when I'm walking around the camp is incredible. I have never felt that in the past four years."
When it was put to Eriksson that he said much the same at Euro 2004, only for England to lose in the quarter-finals, he stressed that many players had progressed even further since last summer.
"A lot of them have had good results with their club, which means a lot to their confidence," he added. "They're not afraid, even if their opponents are the best in the world, and they are more mature."
That showed at Old Trafford last Saturday, when there were no signs of panic even though the Irish had held them to 0-0 at half-time and England finished 4-0 winners. Many fans are hoping for a similarly convincing result against Azerbaijan but Eriksson nevertheless sounded a note of caution.
"Of course, I know we are super-favourites for this game but that doesn't mean we will have the same scoreline as Poland," said Eriksson. A routine victory is nevertheless still expected.