London - England coach Stuart Lancaster said Tuesday his side had failed to make sufficient progress in 2014 as he prepared to unveil his squad for this season's Six Nations.
Last year saw England lose five consecutive games for the first time since 2006, miss out on the Six Nations title to Ireland, and suffer a whitewash in New Zealand, albeit they started the tour without their strongest side because of a clash with the Premiership final.
But with England hosting the World Cup later this year, much will be expected of Lancaster's men in 2015.
Asked in an interview with The Times published Tuesday if England had 'plateaud' in 2014, Lancaster answered: "I think results would say that. I don't like the word plateau, but it is fair to say we didn't kick on."
There have been suggestions that this year's World Cup will come "too soon" in the life of Lancaster's squad and that they will have a better chance of lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy in Japan in four years' time.
However, Lancaster said: "At our stage in our evolution, we are putting the cake in place.
"As we develop as a team, there will be a lot more detail we put on that...We need now to push on, we can't wait until 2019. We've got to be ready in nine months' time."
Lancaster also revealed how he gained professional insight from his membership of P8, an informal group of leading British-based coaches across all sports that includes cycling guru Dave Brailsford, England football boss Roy Hodgson, former England cricket team director Andy Flower and veteran Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
"With my rugby head coach hat on, it's invaluable," said Lancaster. "But with my pure interest in sport and leadership, it's gold dust.
"It's very enlightening but also reassuring, to know you can compare yourself against others, but also feel like you are on the right track."