Stuart Pearce has stressed he would still be willing to oversee England at the summer's European Championship despite Holland having inflicted the national team's first defeat in 15 months.
England's late rally, with goals from Gary Cahill and Ashley Young, might have earned Pearce's selection an unlikely draw only for Arjen Robben's deflected winner to deflate the mood in stoppage time. Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool will anxiously await assessments on Thursday of injuries sustained by Chris Smalling, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard that forced the trio from the fray ahead of the weekend's Premier League programme.
The four-man Club England board will now concentrate on pinpointing a successor for the departed Fabio Capello before the tournament, with Pearce insistent he is still willing to take charge of the squad if required. "A few days ago, when I was asked that question by my employers, I put myself forward," said Pearce, who had spoken with one of the selection panel, Sir Trevor Brooking. "I have the experience to take the team to the finals. That wouldn't be daunting to me at all, so I've offered my services for the summer.
"After the tournament that would be it because I don't have the experience for this job [full-time]. I've really enjoyed this week and would enjoy the summer, but I'd only be buying the Football Association some time if they've not got someone in by then. The full-time manager of England is somebody else. It's certainly not me.
"This wasn't a big night for me. I wasn't auditioning for anything. I'm in a situation as Under-21 manager where they needed someone to fill in on the short-term, and I also said: 'If you need me to take the team to the championships in the summer, I will.' That's it. I'm sure they'll go through the process of getting someone in place before the summer and if they don't they know they have me available and all the planning is done."
There will be concern among the Premier League clubs at the extent of the injuries suffered by the three England players. While Gerrard lasted only 33 minutes before being withdrawn with a tight hamstring, and Sturridge sustained a toe injury that necessitated his substitution late on, the head injury sustained by Smalling appeared more serious. The United centre-half clashed with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as the Dutch replacement nodded the visitors 2-0 ahead and was cut badly in the incident.
The 22-year-old departed on a stretcher and like Huntelaar, was dispatched to a local hospital for scans. "Chris took a really bad bang on the head and split it open so he's gone to hospital," said Pearce. "I spoke to him as he came off the pitch, so he was conscious at least. But our thoughts are with him because it was a nasty one. Daniel took a blow on his toe and Stevie was more of a precaution – his hamstring was feeling a bit tight."
Arsenal will at least have been relieved that Robin van Persie, who had been suffering from a groin injury, was withdrawn at the interval, as arranged between Bert van Marwijk and the player, with the Dutch finding their rhythm thereafter.
"We probably showed a little bit of naivety, and possibly a lack of belief," said Pearce. "Perhaps we lacked a bit of game-management, a bit of know-how or nous, but you have to learn. It was a great exercise and we've learned a bit about one or two individuals and their credentials for the summer. This will stand our young players in good stead."
There was a debut for Fraizer Campbell in the latter stages, the Sunderland striker subsequently revealing he had become a father to Isla Rose on the same evening, while Scott Parker relished a first appearance as England captain.
"It was a special night for me," said the Tottenham midfielder. "To captain your country is what every boy dreams of, so to get the chance was amazing. It was pretty emotional, an immensely proud moment for me and something I'll always cherish. I would love to keep the armband – I don't know if it was just this game or for the future – but I'm proud to have worn it at all."
Parker also conceded that his club manager, Harry Redknapp, would be a viable candidate to take over as full-time England manager, with Brooking suggesting a decision might be made in the immediate build-up to the tournament.
"You could get somebody parachuted in a few days before [the European Championship begins]," Brooking said. "We're going to take our time and will sit down in the next few days and try and see what is the time-frame. I don't see anything happening too soon."