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George Dobell in Sydney
January 6, 2014
'It's a bitter pill to swallow - Flower
Andy Flower has reiterated his desire to remain as England team director, but admitted "we've made mistakes" during the Ashes tour of Australia.
Under Flower, the England team won three successive Ashes series, their first global limited-overs tournament - the World Twenty20 of 2010 - and enjoyed periods at the top of the rankings in all three formats of the game.
But as a result of the whitewash defeat in Australia, England have fallen to fourth in the world Test rankings. Furthermore, the margin of defeat in the five games ranks as the worst England have experienced in 30 years.
"We're not proud of that result," Flower admitted. "It's quite a bitter pill to swallow, but we have to face up to that reality that we've been totally outplayed. We've had a lot of good times. This was not a good time for any of us involved with the England cricket team. I like to feel pride about the way we go about things. I don't feel pride in the way we played in this Test series.
"We have some thinking to do and some decisions to make. We've got to review what's happened on this tour. Obviously, we've made mistakes. I need to meet with the key decision-makers to decide what we're going to do."
Those key decision makers include Paul Downton, the new managing director of England cricket who does not formally take-up his new role until February 1, and David Collier, the ECB chief executive, who has already made it clear that Flower retains his unequivocal backing.
"Of course, it's good to have their support," Flower said. "And we all have a responsibility to get our heads together and learn from the mistakes we've made and get things moving in the right direction.
"Obviously after a loss of this proportion there has to be change of some description. It would not be reasonable to go on doing the same things again, I absolutely agree with that. Exactly what that change looks like I can't describe right now. I've got my own ideas but it would be irresponsible to go into it without discussing them with some key personnel.
"I think our methods, our environment and our personnel all need to be looked at. One of the skills a coach should have is adaptability. Sometimes you have to adapt your style to whoever your captain is and I think the better coaches can do that. I obviously have to look at the way I've led this group and I'm continually looking to improve myself."
Flower insisted that he had no thoughts of resigning. "Yes, I will be staying in this job," he said. "I am proud of my involvement with the England cricket team and very proud of the results we've had. I thiink it's important that we review this logically and learn from some of the mistakes we've made and ensure we get English cricket moving in the right direction again.
"It does feel like the end of some type of era and there will be some sort of new start. We might have to take a little more pain before we have sustained success again and we might have to ask for a little patience in that regard over the coming months.
"I think it will be the start of something new and I think Alastair Cook can lead that renewal and rebuilding the England cricket side."
Flower had earlier been pressed by Ian Ward on Sky TV about whether team spirit had suffered during a run of one-sided contests, Flower made no attempt to disguise that there had been issues. "There are always some personal agendas in most teams," he said. "No team is perfect and our team is no different.
"Team spirit always gets its closest examination under pressure and we have been put under a tremendous amount of pressure by a good side on their home turf. That is one area we will look at."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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