Roy Hodgson admitted it was not an easy decision to pick Andros Townsend after the winger inspired England’s win over Montenegro.
In-form Tottenham man Townsend was handed his full international debut for the crucial Group H FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday - and he rose to the occasion.
The 22-year-old is only just establishing himself at club level, but he stole the show at Wembley as England secured a 4-1 win that leaves them needing a victory against Poland on Tuesday to qualify for Brazil 2014 automatically.
Wayne Rooney put England in front and an own goal from Branko Boskovic doubled their advantage, only for Dejan Damjanovic to throw Montenegro a lifeline when he pulled a goal back on 71 minutes.
But Townsend settled the hosts' nerves by scoring a third soon after, before Daniel Sturridge put the icing on the cake with a late penalty to edge England ever closer to qualification.
And Hodgson told ITV: "We agonised over the decision (to pick Townsend) I must but say, there were plenty of discussions as there were plenty of players we could choose from.
"To leave people like Jack Wilshere and James Milner out, with their experience of big games, wasn’t an easy decision.
"We’re glad it worked out well for us. I think man of the match Andros Townsend must be delighted with his evening’s work. Sometimes you're lucky with these things."
England looked set for a tense evening when they failed to score in a first half they dominated, but Hodgson was confident they would get the victory they deserved.
"I don’t think (it added pressure). I think in the first half we were dominant. It wasn’t easy to find way a past a well-drilled and organised Montenegro team. Luckily the chances came and we scored," he added.
"The 2-1 was a bit of a cold shower for us, because we had chances to go 3-0 up. But luckily Andros Townsend stepped up and got the third."
|Coach: R. Hodgson|
for F. Lampard 65'
for A. Townsend 80'
for S. Gerrard 87'
|Doyle to join Rapids by month´s end|
|MLS Preview: Red Bulls, City to contest first New York derby|
|Real Salt Lake 0 Los Angeles Galaxy 0: Goalkeepers dominate after lightning delay|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Guarani, Sao Paulo in box seat|
|Subotic wants Europa League spot|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Cabaye challenges leaders PSG|
|Bayern ´threw the game away´ against Barcelona - Boateng|
|Sevilla favourites tag motivation for Fiorentina - Montella|
|Cuadrado needs time - Bacca|
|Guardiola: Bayern didn´t lose because of Messi|
|Luis Enrique hails team performance after Messi masterclass|
|Muller hopeful of second-leg fightback in Munich|
|Ribery set to miss Bayern´s second leg with Barca|
|Messi is impossible to describe, says Mascherano|
|Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0: Messi lives up to Guardiola´s billing to put Barca on brink of final|
|Spanish federation to suspend all competitions from May 16|
|AFC Champions League Review: Jeonbuk cruise into last 16 but Seongnam crash out|
|McClaren reiterates commitment to Derby amid Newcastle speculation|
|League One play-offs preview: Grayson grateful for Preston´s second chance|
|Belfodil agrees Parma contract termination|
|Sevilla still on track - Emery|
|Duff has Upton Park red card overturned|
|Alexis Sanchez can be as good as he wants - Zamorano|
|Torino 0 Empoli 1: Padelli howler proves costly|
|Real Madrid top Forbes list for third straight year|
|Arnesen backs ´champion´ Van Gaal for success at United|
|McCarthy robbed at gunpoint|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Guingamp: Champions out to pile pressure on Lyon|
|Benitez agent to meet with De Laurentiis|
|Chelsea´s ´boring´ style not an issue - Arnesen|
|Ramos laments poor Turin display|
|Southampton to place trust in academy - Reed|
|Bale not listening to failed managers - agent|
|Bigirimana believes relegation could be good for Newcastle|
|Chelsea still hungry for Liverpool win - Matic|
|Bournemouth to invest in players before stadium|
|Police visit Sports Direct over Rangers investigation|
|Guard of honour should spark Liverpool - Lallana|
|Liverpool to sign teenage Portuguese star|
|Thiago would´ve stayed at Barca under Pep|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Tigres advance to quarters|
|Houston Dynamo 0 San Jose Earthquakes 1: Kinnear claims triumphant Texas return|
|Martinez: Everton got carried away during unbeaten run|
|Neymar has flourished with captaincy - Dunga|
|A-League Preview: Victory, City to meet in biggest Melbourne derby|
|Ramos: Real Madrid in box seat|
|´Bale gave Real nothing´ - Keane|
|Hill backs Ramsey for QPR job|
|Ancelotti confident of Real revival|
|Allegri rues late Llorente miss in Juve triumph|
|Juve sent a warning - Pirlo|
|Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2 Dundee United 1: Ofere and Williams keep European dream alive|
|Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Spot-on Tevez earns first-leg lead|
|Sturridge hip surgery a success|
|Coloccini calls for unity as Newcastle target survival|
|Doumbia cleared to make Milan trip|
|Harper calls for Hull unity|
|Guardiola not distracted by Barca homecoming|
|No defence can stop Barca star Messi - Guardiola|
|Neuer ready to face Barca strike trio|
|Napoli v Dnipro: Benitez seeks to make experience count|
|Jones ready for United return|
|Injury rules Oscar out of Brazil´s Copa squad|
|Mazinho proud ahead of Barca v Bayern contest|
|Sevilla v Fiorentina: Kolodziejczak confident ahead of semi-final test|
|Skipper Soriano set for Villarreal return|
|Martinez wary of Pienaar risk|
|AFC Champions League Review: Holders Western Sydney out due to last-gasp Seoul winner|
|Barca focused ahead of Pep return - Luis Enrique|
|Messi has ´no problem´ with Luis Enrique|
|Relegated Tranmere appoint Brabin|
|Ujah agrees Werder transfer|
|Magath backs Guardiola to remain at Bayern|
|Mathieu out of Bayern clash|
|Burnley appeal Duff dismissal|
|Setif drawn in Algeria-heavy Champions League group|
|Terry calls for new Drogba deal|
|Saul agrees bumper Atletico deal|
|Arsenal need to finish season strongly - Wenger|
|New Bilbao deal for Gurpegi|
|Pepe puts Morata friendship aside for Champions League match-up|
|Terry: Too long between titles|
|Hazard can be as good as Messi, Ronaldo - Fabregas|
|Carlisle ´deeply ashamed´ about suicide attempt|
|Tevez planning to win Champions League with Juve|
|Blatter ´knows absolutely nothing´ - Maradona|
|Allegri: Ancelotti a smart man|
|Sunderland academy coach to manage Oldham|
|Primeira Liga Review: Braga secure Europa League berth|
|Bruce backing Hull to respond against Burnley|
|Almeria 2 Celta Vigo 2: Bifouma, Zongo inspire hosts´ comeback|