Moores unmoved by speculation

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Published: Saturday 21st February 2015 by The News Editor

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Coach Peter Moores has vowed to ignore speculation over his future and focus on the task of getting England’s faltering World Cup campaign back on track.

England could have hardly made a worse start to the tournament after heavy back-to-back defeats to co-hosts Australia and New Zealand.

Defeat in Wellington on Friday was one of England’s worst ever in a World Cup as they were skittled for 123 – a target the Black Caps needed only 12.2 overs to reel in.

Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Paul Collingwood, who is an assistant coach with next opponents Scotland, have both suggested that Moores’ position is in jeopardy, especially should he fail to steer his side to the quarter-finals.

That was deemed a minimum requirement before the tournament but England have much work to do in their remaining four pool games, starting against the Scots on Monday, just to go through to the knockout stages.

It is only that task, however, that will occupy Moores’ mind over the next month.

“At this moment you have enough to focus on – it’s a World Cup,” he said.

“I have my responsibilities with the World Cup team to do the best I can for that team and for the players as the players have their own responsibilities.

“My focus is totally on that and will remain totally on that because that’s where it is best placed, as it should be.”

Moores was handed the England job for a second time last April when he beat off competition from Ashley Giles.

Giles had been regarded as a leading candidate to take over after he had been in charge of England’s limited overs teams and took them to the 2013 Champions Trophy final.

His stock was reduced, however, when England lost to Holland at the World Twenty20 – his last game in charge. England’s defeat to New Zealand has been greeted in similar terms and Moores accepts it was hard to stomach.

“It’s not part of your plan. They are tough ones,” he said.

“What they do to you as a person, hopefully as a coach, they make you more determined.”

Asked if it was one of the worst defeats of his time in charge, he added: “It’s certainly up there. It was a hugely disappointing day and backed up from the game at Melbourne. If it’s the worst I don’t know.

“What I do know is I feel the same now as I did then. I felt for the other people who had come to watch because it wasn’t a good enough performance.”

Only a month ago England twice convincingly beat world champions India on their way to the Tri-Series final, but have since lost their way.

Moores believes his players need show greater urgency to get back to winning ways and suggested they failed to “have a crack” against New Zealand.

“I don’t think we had a crack yesterday,” he said.

“It sounds pretty simple to say: ‘Have a crack’. They were up for the game and wanted to go out there and didn’t express themselves – they didn’t let themselves go to play. Credit to New Zealand they can make it hard for you as a player.

“I often say sport is a bit like anything when you’ve got to express yourself and play. Everybody can sing in the bath, not everyone can sing on a stage. It’s not as easy.

“You’ve got to let yourself go. You’ve got to show something that says: ‘Right I can go and play’. That’s what we need to do as a group of players.

“We’ve got four games left in this group that we’ve got to win and try and get ourselves through to that quarter-final.”

England’s first task is to overcome the potential banana skin contest against Scotland, who ran New Zealand far tighter in their opener when going down by three wickets.

England could make changes after sticking with the same XI for their opening two defeats and Moores revealed a decision on the team was likely to be made the day before Monday’s match at Hagley Park in Christchurch.

“I’ll sit down with Eoin,” he said.

“We’ll go and look at the stadium, get a feel for it, look at the pitch and we’ve got to pick a team and we’re going to announce that tomorrow.

“We always like to do that if we can. Maybe not to the press, but to the team so everybody knows where they are at.

“We have to get ready to play. Scotland will be up for the game as we will be. It’s a chance for us to come back with something. Start to pick up momentum.

“The job of being an international sportsman, coach or player is you’re in the judgement game. You want to get out there again and show what you have got. The first chance we’ve got is on Monday.

“Talking is okay, but it’s not as good as doing and Monday is our chance to do that.”

Published: Saturday 21st February 2015 by The News Editor

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