England Under-19s' lack of urgency puts European Championship defence at risk, admits coach Simon Rusk
But their possession football lacked cutting edge on Saturday until Iceland took a 50th-minute lead from the penalty spot, and it proved decisive, with Orri Oskarsson's the only goal at Rotherham United's New York Stadium.
"It's a good lesson for the lads," said Rusk. "When you're facing a very resolute, well-organised team you need that urgency and you've got to maintain it with and without the ball. We probably didn't do that well enough and it influenced the result.
"They've got some qualities and their directness caused us problems we perhaps didn't get to grips with. We huffed and puffed and had some good chances but didn't make the breakthrough.
"We haven't played well so we've got to win the next game (against Turkey in Chesterfield on Tuesday) playing well."
Ben Nelson, on loan at Doncaster Rovers from Leicester City, was substituted after 33 minutes.
"It's maybe a bit of tightness in his calf," said Rusk, who was without Leeds United midfielder Darko Gyabi through suspension.
Nelson left on crutches.
Gyabi's club-mate Sonny Perkins was a late substitute.
"He's had a heavy schedule and he'd been out injured a few weeks before," explained Rusk. "Four games in 10 days is a big ask."
Turkey’s 1-1 draw with Hungary means Iceland will qualify by beating the Magyars on Tuesday, a defeat means the winners of England v Turkey will progress.