Bresnan: We owe Flower and Cook

Salisbury Journal: Tim Bresnan is determined to help England bounce back in Melbourne Tim Bresnan is determined to help England bounce back in Melbourne

Tim Bresnan believes he and his England team-mates owe their coach and captain a vast improvement in the Boxing Day Test, after letting them down so far in the Ashes this winter.

Bresnan has no doubt Andy Flower, whose future as coach has come into question following the loss of the urn before Christmas, should remain in charge.

First, though, the Yorkshire seamer is adamant it is up to the players to start showing they are much better than they have been on the way to a 3-0 deficit already thanks to wide-margin defeats in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

The Ashes are therefore gone and will stay in Australia's hands until 2015, come what may in the final two Tests.

But Bresnan, who admits he was short of his best on his return from injury at the WACA, warns England must start to do Flower and captain Alastair Cook justice in Melbourne and Sydney.

"He is on the ball; he wants the lads to perform well - and at the moment, we're letting him down," Bresnan said of Flower.

"They [his team-mates] probably feel similar to what I do now, (we've) let the coach and captain down...by not performing to our potential."

Bresnan was especially disappointed with his own efforts in Perth, and refuses to cite his recent recovery from a stress fracture of the back as an excuse.

"The body felt fine, which is a positive, but I felt as though I'd let Andy and Cooky down a little bit by the way I bowled," he said.

"I don't think I bowled anything close to my potential or where I should be at the minute...I didn't really carry out my role as I usually do.

"I just wasn't good enough."

Bresnan felt he was so significantly under par, while Australia went from 143 for five to 385 all out, that he needed to address the issue with Flower.

"I was pretty poor and I said to Andy at the time 'I need to be better than this, I'm not doing my job'.

"He said 'Yep, fine'.

"I'm quite an honest bloke, and that's the assessment I gave myself. I don't think anyone will argue with that."

No-one should argue either, he insists, about Flower's right to carry on in charge of a team he previously helped to three successive Ashes series wins among several notable highs.

"Regardless of what happens over the next six to eight weeks, Andy is the man to take us forward," he said.

"The things he's achieved with this team, from the outset when he joined us, is staggering when you consider the record of how England have played cricket over the last 30 years.

"There is no lack of drive, from what I've seen from Andy.

"He still cares as much now as when he first took over - in fact probably a little bit too much at this moment in time, because things aren't going as well they usually do.

"But it's up to the players to put that right, the XI on the field, not the coach."

Bresnan suspected England were flattered all along by their 3-0 win over Australia last summer, but by the same token is confident they can prove themselves better ultimately than 3-0 losers this winter too.

The impact of Mitchell Johnson's fast bowling has been the most obvious factor which has knocked England off course.

Bresnan does not think they should have succumbed so easily, though, to the left-armer.

"We expected that. We'd be stupid not to have expected it. If anyone says they didn't then they're foolish," said Bresnan, who was speaking at an event for Jaguar.

"Mitchell Johnson bowled pretty quick in the one-dayers at the end of last summer and then pretty quick in India, so there is no reason why he shouldn't be bowling pretty quick against us.

"Those are the sorts of the questions they're asking, and we needed to answer them. We haven't, we didn't.

"We should have figured out what was going wrong a lot sooner than that, and maybe we could have done something about the Ashes as a whole."

It is not only the scoreline he sees as a mirror image of last summer.

"A few of us were quite aware that the result in the summer flattered us a little bit," he said.

"We weren't playing that good cricket, so to get out of that series winning 3-0...couple of us couldn't really understand how we'd done it.

"Australia were guilty of having those bad hours in that series, that we're having now - the bad hour that loses you the match - which is criminal when you're playing Test cricket.

"We have pulled off some special comebacks over the years. But against this team right now, they're going for the jugular straightaway - which was what we were doing in the summer."

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