Eddie Jones always believed England would beat France at Twickenham, but described his side's performance in a somewhat fortuitous 19-16 win as "awful".
A 71st-minute try from replacement Ben Te'o on Saturday secured England's 15th successive Test victory - a new national record.
However, last year's grand slam champions were well short of their best against a visiting side that offered a stern physical challenge.
France had the better of a first half that finished 9-9 and led through a Rabah Slimani try in the second half before Te'o - one of several impressive replacements for England - crashed over for the match-winning score.
In a post-match interview with ITV, Jones quipped: "It [the performance] is still ugly, but the result's beautiful."
And during his subsequent news conference, the Australian added: "It was a good win, it's always good to win when you don't play well. We didn't play well.
"I take full responsibility for the performance, I didn't prepare the team well enough. I got some things wrong so I've got a lot of homework to do. I'll make sure the team plays much better against Wales [next weekend].
"I thought we were awful but I always thought we were going to win the game. That's what I like about these boys; they've got a never-say die attitude. They keep at it."
Jones hailed the strength in depth of a squad missing the Vunipola brothers, Chris Robshaw and George Kruis.
"It was a great result from our 23 and that's one of things that keeps us in good stead. We've got a very strong bench," he said.
"Given that we we've got four of our top-class forwards out, [the fact] that we could still bring on a bench that makes a difference is a great testament to the depth of the squad.
"Haskell, for a guy that has played 35 minutes and 35 seconds, was brilliant and Ben Te'o did really well for us. We've got some nice selection issues, which is good."