'We've got to prove to ourselves we can beat Australia' December 24, 2006

Hoggard worries about mental damage


Matthew Hoggard says it's going to be a different story in 2009 © Getty Images

Matthew Hoggard believes England have to recover from their Ashes drubbing in Australia or risk being mentally scarred going into the next series in 2009. Australia have already regained the Ashes, taking a 3-0 series lead in Perth, and Hoggard said his shattered team-mates had to regroup for the fourth Test beginning in Melbourne on Tuesday.

"We have got to prove to the guys on the tour, to ourselves, that we can beat Australia," Hoggard said. "We have shown glimpses of what we can do, we have had some good performances, some good individual performances over three games.

"But now we have got to put in a good team performance, which we need to do. We need to not get mentally scarred, saying Australia are unbeatable, because it's going to be a different story in 2009, and different personnel."

One of the main reasons attributed to England's shock Ashes win last year was that they were unafraid of the Australians who had inflicted so much pain on their predecessors. But Australia have reasserted their dominance with three wins that have left the tourists struggling to find positives.

"Everybody's gutted," Hoggard said. "We wanted to come out here and play to the best of our abilities and I don't think we've done that. We've only really played four-and-a-half days of good cricket in Adelaide. Australia have proved what a good side they are ... you don't stay the top side for six years without putting in some great performances."