No excuses needed, just hard work

cricket blogs for Yahoo Cricket Columns

We have got to be very honest about where things went wrong at Headingley and where we go from here.


The performance in the fourth Test was extremely disappointing; we played terribly.


You can make all the excuses you want about injuries, or getting woken up at 5am by a fire alarm, but from ball one Australia outplayed us in every department.


It is hard to put your finger on what makes teams' fortunes change so quickly. In some ways that is the beauty of sport, although it doesn't seem too beautiful at the moment.


You never want to get beaten like that and it hurts. But the key for us is to put the emotion to one side and get to work on all the things that need fixing.


Sport isn't an exact science, and if you knew what was going to happen, nobody would watch it. But we know that Australia put us under more pressure than we did to them.


We have shown our potential in this series; we played superbly at Lord's and three days of cricket ago, we had them on the ropes.


When you play against Australia you know there are going to be pressure situations, but we didn't get through them. We have to respond better.


Today Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann went out, showed fighting spirit and played positively.


The overall scheme of things is that we are going into the final Test drawing one-all, and the series will be decided at the Oval.


In terms of a spectacle, it couldn't be better, and we have to view it as a great opportunity.


In the past we have responded well after a poor performance and we must do that now.


We have 10 days to put this defeat aside and prepare for the Oval, and what we do between now and then is absolutely crucial.


I am going to be straight into the nets with the bowling machine, working out different angles and trying to get things right technically and mentally.


The Australians got me cheaply twice in this match, and I will be working hard to get 100 per cent ready for the fifth Test.


Andrew Strauss was right to say that we mustn't panic. In general, you have to take the game to Australia, but that doesn't mean we have to be throwing the bat around from the word go.


We got into a good position in the series by playing to our strengths and performing solidly. We shouldn't rip up all those plans now.


I thought the Headingley crowd were fantastic, and it's such a shame we couldn't provide a performance worthy of them.


They turned up on Friday with high expectations, and despite the disappointment they didn't get on our backs and gave us great support.


Even on the third morning they were fantastic. It was a full house and they were superb. I feel sorry for fans who had tickets for the fourth day.


There is a lot of work to do between now and the fifth Test. We need to put this disappointment behind us and roar back at the Oval.