But the Kiwi was adamant he could just as easily have been talking about a Wales victory - if his side had sorted out their kicking errors.
On more than one occasion the home side inexplicably kicked away possession with the line in sight and Gatland believed that might have been the difference.
"We're disappointed because we felt there was an opportunity there but there were a couple of errors in the first half when we had England under pressure," said Gatland.
"I said to them afterwards that they need to look at themselves.
"I thought the effort was huge and I can't complain about the effort out there that was put in.
"But we still need to be very, very self-critical on areas that we can still improve in our game.
"We need to keep reminding the players about having the confidence to keep playing rugby and making sure we control our own destiny.
"Sometimes we don't do that because we keep making a few errors and those are the things from a coaching point of view that are frustrating."