Professional job done but we are work in progress, says Henderson
England captain Jordan Henderson felt it was a "professional performance" which eventually broke down a stubborn Malta side before a late flurry secured a 4-0 win, but accepts there is still "a lot to improve on."
The Three Lions struggled to create clear openings during a stultifying first half against a team ranked 190th in the world.
Tottenham forward Harry Kane eventually broke the deadlock for his first goal of the new season, before Ryan Bertrand, substitute Danny Welbeck and Kane stretched the advantage late on.
It marked a first away win for new England boss Gareth Southgate, who will now regroup his squad ahead of Monday night's clash at Wembley against Slovakia, who are two points behind in Group F.
Liverpool midfielder Henderson said: "They were difficult to break down in the first half and we were taking chances where maybe we didn't need to - but you have to do that.
"At half-time we knew we had to keep going and persevering, and thankfully we managed to get some good goals in the end."
Henderson added: "Of course we have got a lot to improve on and will look back on the performance tomorrow and the day after - but I thought it was a professional performance."
Kane felt England could reflect on a job well done in the end.
"When you come away to a place like this. It was never going to be easy from the start, but we knew if we kept moving it, then the chances would come and 4-0 is a good result," he said.
"They put all the men behind the ball so you have to make sure your chances are spot on and probably they weren't in the first half - but we knew just create the space then we would get chances."