Michael Owen is confident England will bounce back from the disappointment of their Euro 2004 defeat against France.

“I’d prefer to lose the first game of a tournament like this rather than any other, although it’s a bitter blow for us,” Owen told the BBC.

“It was a bit of a mugging and hard to take, but we move on to our next two games knowing we did ourselves proud apart from two minutes in injury time.

“Everyone gave everything and Ledley King and Wayne Rooney were fantastic.”

“It’s hard to explain quite how that happened and is such a disappointment after we played so well and looked so solid for so long,” said Owen.

“When you get into injury-time and you are winning, the worst you think you can do is draw, so to lose is a real sickener.

“But Zidane’s free-kick was fantastic and the back-pass that led to the penalty was just one of those things for Steven Gerrard that can happen to anyone.

“He’ll get over that and we will get over losing this game. Stevie is a very strong character and he will be determined to put it right in our next game.”

Owen revealed coach Sven-Goran Eriksson had told the players they must get over the disappointment of last night’s defeat.

He said: “We do feel disappointed, but we must pick our heads up.

“We’ve got to get it right for Monday, put a smile on our faces and get things back on track for Switzerland.

“It’s not a great result but a lot of players can be very proud. France are the best team in the world and what happened out there just cemented that in my mind.