Warwickshire v Yorkshire, Specsavers Championship Div One, Edgbaston, 4th day April 16, 2017

Giles warns of further pain to come


Yorkshire 381 (Handscomb 75, Rashid 65, Bresnan 61) beat Warwickshire 178 (Barker 50, Coad 5-52) and 115 (Patel 49*, Coad 5-50) by an innings and 88 runs

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County Championship Round-up: Warwickshire's woes

Ashley Giles has warned there will be "no quick fixes" to Warwickshire's problems and told supporters to expect more pain in the months ahead.

Giles, who returned to Warwickshire as director of sport ahead of this season, admitted the club was "going to the wall" with an ageing team and "nothing behind them" after they succumbed to their second successive innings defeat of the Championship season. The result leaves them bottom of the Division One table with just three points from their first two games.

But while Giles gave assurances that all involved would be doing everything they could to improve results - and, most pertinently, avoid relegation - he suggested it would take time to correct some of the club's long-term problems.

"We knew before the season that we would be entering a period of transition," Giles said. "But maybe that is bordering on transformation.

"Are we as well prepared as we thought we were? Are we as good as we thought we were? Either way, our goals may have to change. We came into the season with high hopes but now we want to stay in Division One. We've been rocked back by the first hit.

"There's no quick fix. We have a group of players aged 32-plus and a group of players aged under-19 and a huge void in between. Our development system hasn't really been working - that's not a new thing, it's been that way forever and a day - and we can't just go out and recruit in the middle of a season. It's going to take time to put things right. There's no magic bullet.

"We've not made this transition smoother over a period of years. So now we're going to the wall with this group of players and there's nothing behind them. We've had a lot of success with this team from 2010, but now we're going to suffer some pain, that is for sure, and a bit of that is self-inflicted.

"Building a team is an ongoing process. You always have to be bringing new players on and we haven't been doing that. These issues have not been dealt with."

While Giles remains confident that the experience of his current team - four of the XI beaten by Yorkshire are 35 or more, one more will be before the end of the year - can be an asset he did hint that Ben Coad, the Yorkshire seamer who had played such a huge role in bowling his side to victory, had reminded Warwickshire of an important truism of the game.

"Each year it takes an effort to go back and keep improving," Giles said. "You have to keep going back to the well and keep drawing from it. You can only do that so many times.

"What we saw from this kid Ben Coad, who I thought bowled incredibly well, was a kid who wanted it bad. He's been in the seconds for four years and he came into the side wanting it badly. Whether you're 20 or 35, you have to want it more than the opposition.

"Our senior players give us quality and experience. They're the guys in possession and they will have the opportunity to respond. But it takes fight to go through the cycle of transition and we have to work out which ones want that fight. It's going to be tough, but you have to be excited by that challenge.

"You either blame everyone and everything else, or you look at yourself and say: 'What can I do?' That's where we are. You can't be thinking 'poor me'. We need to get out of that frame of mind."

Giles confirmed that Warwickshire had not pursued any interest in Angus Robson and suggested they were unlikely to make an approach for the currently unsigned Jaik Mickleburgh, either.

"I'm not just going to replace one of these guys - probably with someone with worse stats - just so it looks as if we're doing something," he said. "And if people are falling out with other clubs or not doing well, you have to ask the question: are they the answer?

"Recruitment takes times. I know some supporters expect us to go out and sign five players, but it doesn't work like that in cricket. We don't want knee-jerk reactions, we want decisions that are of long-term benefit."

While Warwickshire's batting has been the most obvious problem so far this season - they have only once reached 180 in four Championship innings and in the Yorkshire game were 77 for 7 in the first innings and 40 for 7 in the second - Giles feels the bowling has been below par as well.

"All-round we're under," he said. "The most obvious thing is our batting, but all-round the guys have to hold their hands up and say we're being outplayed. Whether it is confidence or technical intervention, we have to get them better."

In the short-term, there is a chance Ateeq Javid will come back into the team in place of Sam Hain for the Championship match against Surrey starting on Friday. Ian Westwood could also return at the top of the order if he comes through a 2nd XI game without a reaction to a foot injury.

Might Giles' words reassure Warwickshire supporters? While they make it clear the club is in for a tough ride in the foreseeable future, they also accept the issues the club faces. And by acknowledging those faults, he provides some encouragement they will be addressed. Diagnosis is surely the first step towards the cure.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kensbe1114335 on April 21, 2017, 9:26 GMT

    I'm not a Warks supporter, so my history might be a little out, but if the problem is the absence of players in their 20's coming to maturity, isn't this a problem that has its roots in Giles previous spell in charge? Teenagers identified and developed from 2008 onwards would have been in their mid to late 20's now, so perhaps rather than Giles offering the solution, he deserves a significant part of the blame?

  • geoffs8103821 on April 19, 2017, 20:04 GMT

    I watched Warwickshire academy training today the coaching was very average needs looking at...

  • Mark on April 19, 2017, 10:40 GMT

    Hmmm, It seems Warwicks have further to fall than Notts. Whilst our lack of batting talent coming through to pressure Kolpaks and ageing pro's (B Taylor, Wessels, and Lumb) came home to roost last season, at least we were producing the bowlers, and that from a smaller population base. Time will tell how bad it will get for them.

  • Jackie on April 19, 2017, 10:23 GMT

    Given that Warwickshire has been heading towards this for some time according to Giles, you have to wonder if the management was just crossing its fingers and hoping that some kids in the Academy would solve all their problems. Getting rid of Chopra made no sense at all. Yet Dougie Brown spoke only of backing youngsters coming through. So "the policy" was hiding the problem. The morale of the side is going to be affected if you know there's nothing in the till and you are getting rid of players and the youngsters aren't ready. Giles' talk of waiting for the right people is just a gloss over the emerging hole. Talk of ageism is self-defeating. That's the side and they are good enough if they realise they have no opening pair. Perhaps Trott should open and Bell bat at 3. It is no good trying to stem the tide after you have lost wickets. Lead from the front not the middle. These are the top players. Bell is too low at 4.

  • geoffs8103821 on April 19, 2017, 8:55 GMT

    Theirs players playing in the Warwickshire leagues as good as the current openers

  • David on April 18, 2017, 16:43 GMT

    Is there an Andy Moles out there in the leagues somewhere...

  • geoffs8103821 on April 18, 2017, 15:26 GMT

    Come on you bears we can turn it around but we MUST recruit quickly

  • geoffs8103821 on April 18, 2017, 10:06 GMT

    I agree Giles must have known the problems before he took the job. Let's be honest it's better for the club if Giles takes over certainly In the short term and bring in a new coaching network from top to bottom. I think this could well be Bell's last season as a bear.

  • Jackie on April 18, 2017, 8:49 GMT

    If this problem is long term than you have to wonder why Giles was not aware of the situation in his preliminary assessment. Every Warwickshire fan knows that the first XI lacks an opening pair for a start. Every Warwickshire fan was unhappy about the treatment of Chopra last year. But something similar happened to opener Mark Stoneman at Durham. At the bottom is the debt crisis for exactly the same reason, the enlargement and or refurbishment of the County ground at a time of high interest rates - before the Crash. This was led by businessmen at the top of the ECB. Not of course that any blame will find its way to their door. Durham has got good young players coming through the Academy but harken to the words of their coach who said it wasn't good to expose youngsters too soon. This is exactly what Warwickshire is trying to do. Blaming the ex-coach is pointless. Surrey and Hampshire are just throwing money at their problems. Warks can't afford that.

  • kenned2901317 on April 18, 2017, 8:18 GMT

    I was admittedly disappointed to hear Ian Bell harping on about 'England recalls' mere days before the beginning of Warwickshire's championship campaign; I'm not saying that Bell should put to bed England - that is his prerogative - but it struck me as somewhat mistimed and sending out the wrong message (to the rest of the team and the fans).

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