Steph Houghton said England’s performance against Germany in Duisburg surpasses their bronze medal-winning display against the same opposition in the summer.
The Lionesses captain guided her team to a 0-0 draw against the European champions – only England’s third draw with Silvia Neid’s side in 22 matches.
It comes just months after Mark Sampson’s charges defeated Germany in the third-place play-off at Canada 2015.
Germany 0-0 England
5pm, Thursday 26 November 2015
But Houghton believes her team-mates have improved since then.
She said: "Our main objective was to perform as well as we did in the bronze medal match – and I thought our performance was even better than that.
"The way we were set up and the confidence we had on the ball was clear to see.
"The fact we came away with a clean sheet was also fantastic."
Before the match, Sampson had urged his side to prove they belong among the world’s elite – and that the bronze medal match wasn’t a one-off victory.
And Houghton now reckons England are mentally stronger than they were last year.
She added: "We’ve been on a hell of a journey over the last 12 months.
"Within the World Cup we grew in confidence and grew in belief and that’s a massive thing for us.
"Now we’ve got that winning mentality and we know we can go and perform against the best teams."
England will fly home on Friday ahead of their Euro qualifier against Bosnia & Herzegovina at Ashton Gate on Sunday.
Houghton wants the Lionesses to build on their performance in Duisburg and collect a second Group 7 win, following their 8-0 rout of Estonia in September.
The 27-year-old said: "We’ve got to remain focused.
"Bosnia may be ranked lower than us but we have to make sure we get three points.
"We also want to try and put on another fantastic performance for the fans who will come and support us and want to congratulate us on what has been a fantastic year."
Tickets for the Bosnia match are priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for children, and can be purchased via TheFA.com/Tickets or by calling 01179 630 600.
A family ticket (two adults and two children), priced £10, is also available.