England coach reflects on poor results January 25, 2007

Fletcher admits confidence and form to blame

Cricinfo staff

Duncan Fletcher speaks to the media in Adelaide © Getty Images
Duncan Fletcher, England's under-fire coach, has blamed injuries and a loss of confidence among the batsmen for his team's dismal one-day performances in Australia.

"If you take the top four, which is the most important part of our batting, three of our top players are missing - Trescothick, Pietersen and Vaughan," he told BBC Five Live. "That's a huge chunk to take out of the side. To compound that, our senior players, the Strausses and Collingwoods, have lost a bit of confidence and form. When you bring in new players, if your experienced players are struggling as well, it compounds the problem.

"We are under a little bit of pressure leading up to that World Cup, there's no doubt about it. But it could turn around ... if we got Pietersen and Vaughan back in the side, that could make a huge difference.

"A year and a half ago, we really felt confident with a side which had taken two years to build. In 2005, we were heading in the right direction to put up a very good performance at the World Cup. Suddenly we were losing these players and having to try and build the side up in a very short period of time."

Asked again if he felt he was no longer an asset to the side, Fletcher remained philosophical. "We'll just have to look at it and see if I've got the confidence of the players. If they've got the belief in you as a coach, that they know you can help them, that's the most important thing. Once I feel that 'hold on, I can't add value to the side or those players' then I will have a look at the situation and feel as though I am under pressure."