Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has attributed England's struggle to qualify for Euro 2008 to being 'a bit too self-confident'.
England need other results to go their way and must beat Croatia, who top Group E, next Wednesday if they are to reach the finals in Austria and Switzerland next summer.
And former West Ham defender Bilic told the BBC: 'The group was difficult.
'Maybe your approach was a little bit too self-confident in this campaign.'
Bilic suggest England may have under-estimated some of their Group E rivals.
'Because it is not easy to come to Croatia and to get something from a game. It is not easy to play in Russia. It is not easy to play Macedonia.
'And it's very difficult to play in Tel Aviv. So maybe you were expecting you were to cruise the group, but it's a very difficult group.'
Bilic did, however, lend his support to Steve McClaren: 'As a club manager you need a couple of years to make or build a team.
'In a national team you need three or four years because you do not have them every day. You have them once a month for five days.
'It's not Steve McClaren's fault and I really feel for him and hope he is going to continue.'