Graham Thorpe admitted there was "an enormous amount of disappointment" after England's performance with the bat on the second day in Leeds, but insisted the side could still win the Test.
Having bowled out Australia for 179 on day one, England started day two visualising building a match-defining first-innings lead. Instead they were brushed aside in just 27.5 overs to concede a significant deficit. Their total of 67 was their lowest in the Ashes since 1948.
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That left Thorpe, England's batting coach, accepting the team had missed an opportunity and lamenting some "poor shot selection". But he also remained confident England could "do something special" over the next couple of days.
"We're disappointed with the way in which we batted," he said. "It's tough to take in the dressing room when it happens. There is an enormous amount of disappointment in terms of an opportunity we had today.
"I'll give credit to Australia's bowlers: they bowled in very good areas. So there were a couple of good balls in our top six, but there was also some poor shot selection. I know some of the batters will be disappointed with some of their shots. They were playing outside their eye-line. Four dismissals in the top six came that way.
"Test cricket is tough. You can get exposed if you don't get things right. If your shot selection isn't correct, you're going to get punished. It's an area where we have to get better if we're going to compete against the best."
The one man for whom Thorpe made allowances was Joe Root. England's captain fell for a second successive duck with questions starting to mount up over his future as leader.
"He got a very good ball," Thorpe said. "Sometimes you receive a ball you won't be able to do that much about. I would say Joe's delivery was an absolute beauty."
Despite England's grim match position - 283 behind on a surface that continues to provide assistance to seam bowlers - Thorpe suggested England can still pull off the win that they require to keep this Ashes series alive. England chased 315 for the loss of just four wickets here against Australia in 2001, Mark Butcher making an unbeaten 173, and Thorpe hopes they can achieve something similar. A win for Australia would ensure their retention of the Ashes, while a draw looks unlikely with three days remaining and the weather fine.
"The game is not over from this position," Thorpe said. "If we can knock them over in the morning, I've seen Test cricket have some strange endings. There's been scores here chased down in the fourth innings.
"If we can keep them to a lead of 320 or 330, a few of our lads can put their hand up and do something special. I always believe that is possible. But we have to try to find generally a bit more consistency with our play going forward in Test cricket.
"We've got to believe. There's no point us getting out of bed in the morning if we don't think we can do something special. But we know we've missed an opportunity in our first innings quite badly."