Worcestershire First Team Coach Alex Gidman gave his reaction after the Specsavers County Championship match with Durham at the Emirates Riverside.
The County went down by 109 runs despite, as was the case against Derbyshire at Kidderminster last week, determined resistance from some of the middle-lower order batsmen, in this case Ed Barnard, Ben Cox and Brett D’Oliveira.
The County will train in Nottingham tomorrow (Wednesday) for the Vitality Blast Blast opener against Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge on Thursday evening.
Gidman said: “We are in the middle of a tough patch. We had a couple of fighting draws (against Glamorgan and Sussex) a couple of weeks ago.
“To lose last week (At Kidderminster) hurt and then this week has been another blow. The lads are disappointed and hurting which is kind of understandable.
“In reality, we didn’t perform well in the first innings with either bat or ball to give ourselves a chance later in the game. We know that is where we lost the game even though it was early in the match. It was going to be very hard to stay in the match from that point on.
“Is the top order a concern? Yes it is a concern. The lads are trying very hard and we are facing some high class bowling. However, we need to improve in that area.
“It is very hard to compete and win games of cricket from the positions we are in, but the players know that. We have got some very experienced players who are trying very hard to get us out of the positions we are in and unfortunately it is not working for us at the moment.
“We also need to recognise we didn’t take 20 wickets on a bowler friendly wicket, so we know there are lots of areas to try and improve.
“We are being very honest. We are talking about what we can do and the methods behind batting, the sorts of bowlers we are facing so the intention is certainly right and we are practicing as hard as we can do.
“We will try to replicate the bowlers the lads will be coming across as much as possible but the hardest thing, from my point of view and their point of view, is once you step over the white line it becomes a different beast altogether.
“As I said last week, there are no cavalry on the way. We know we’ve got to keep going, keep talking and finding ways to improve that particular part of the game.”
Chris Rushworth picked up 10 wickets in the game including the first five in Worcestershire’s second innings.
Gidman said: “It was an outstanding spell of bowling and the pressure he put on the top order was extremely hard and would have been the same for any batsmen, not just ours who are already low on confidence as it is.
“One plus is our young bowlers watched and discussed what they had learnt from the spell. The whole group are continually trying to learn and improve.
“It was a pretty brutal assault. He was very powerful, very consistent and put the guys under a lot of pressure.”
Worcestershire face two Blast games in less than 24 hours with Birmingham Bears at a sold out Blackfinch New Road on Friday before the County resume Championship action against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham on Sunday.
Gidman said: “I think the T20 has come at the right time for us. The lads are excited about the competition now but at the same time they are hurting so I think it is a good for it.
“But we have also got another Championship game starting on Sunday so the competitions are coming thick and fast.”