WORLD Cup hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst shared his thoughts on England's football woes on a flying visit to Huddersfield.
He met business bosses at the Cedar Court Hotel at Ainley Top and also found time to chat and sign shirts for dozens of local schoolchildren.
The legend said he was left disappointed by Wednesday's performance, but stressed that qualification was far from impossible.
He added: "There is still a long way to go and I am positive we will qualify from the group.
"It will be between us and Croatia."
The former West Ham marksman said goalkeeper Paul Robinson must take the blame for the bungle which gifted Croatia their second goal.
Robinson tried to boot a back pass from Gary Neville upfield, but the Tottenham man missed his kick after the ball bobbled on a bit of uneven turf.
Sir Geoff said: "It was his mistake. It was a bad mistake which will haunt him for the rest of his career.
"You can't blame the ground or the bobbles.
"If you are unsure you kick it with the side of your foot, rather than going for it like he did."
But Sir Geoff, who launched a new tanking system for Marsh building firm AJL Developments, said it was tough on goalkeepers.
He added: "A striker can miss 10 goals attempts and no-one says anything. But when a goalkeeper makes a mistake it's different."
Sir Geoff, who was one of Sir Alf Ramsey's 'wingless wonders' in 1966, reserved criticism for England manager Steve McLaren's change of formation to 3-5-2.
He said: "We have got to play players in a system that they play in for their clubs.
"You are only with England two or three days at a time.
"You wouldn't play Bobby Charlton or Bobby Moore, some of the greatest players ever, in a system they weren't familiar with.
"The last five years have not been very good for England.
"Arguably we have the best bunch of young players for some time.
"But in the World Cup we had four or five bad games.
"We need to keep the system that players are comfortable with all the time."
* Sir Geoffrey Charles Hurst MBE was born on December 8, 1941 in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire.
* He is enshrined in football's history as the only player to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final.
* His three goals came in the 1966 final for England in their 4-2 win over Germany at Wembley.
* He played most of his career for West Ham, where he won the FA Cup in 1964, scoring the second equaliser in a 3-2 victory over Preston at Wembley.
* A year later, Hurst was back at Wembley for the final of the European Cup Winners Cup against 1860 Munich. West Ham won 2-0.
* He played one game short of 500 for West Ham, scoring 252 goals.
* His England career closed against West Germany in the qualification stages for the 1972 European Championships, which England lost. He had won 49 caps and scored 24 goals.