Alan Richardson says the Worcestershire players have to show resilience and character on day three against Kent despite the unpromising position of the LV=Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury.
Ed Barnard, keeper Ben Cox and Club Captain Joe Leach – the top three scorers in Worcestershire’s first innings – all still have their wickets intact.
Kent will be hot favourites to seal victory, but Worcestershire Assistant Coach Richardson wants them to be made to work hard to claim the remaining four wickets.
He said: “The players are representing themselves and the club so they should be having as much fight as they possibly can going forward.
“It is not nice to be in these positions but they have to show that resilience and character and what they are about.
“We’ve got another game coming up on Sunday at Lord’s so we have to try and take as much positive as we can into that.
“Tuesday morning will be just as important as any other morning that we play cricket.
“The guys will value themselves against the character and the fight that we show so that is something we have to look at in the morning.
“It might not go as well as we would like, and it hasn’t over the last two days.
“But there is no reason why we can’t put up a good fight tomorrow and they will be trying their hardest, that’s for sure.”
Richardson admits that Kent have been on top from almost the moment they won a crucial toss and took advantage of the conditions.
He said: “The beauty of cricket at times is that it can be a really tough game for long periods of time. I think from pretty much the start of the first day we’ve been behind the game, which has been disappointing, and it has made it really hard for ourselves.
“We have come off the back of a good win and you’ve really got just got to talk as positive as we can.
“The guys know in this game we’ve not performed, but it’s a case of keep reminding them of the basic stuff that they have done really well, and that will hold them in good stead in the immediate future and also going forward as well.
“You try and put as much perspective on it as possible. They are incredibly passionate about it, they want to do well. It’s their life and their passion and, when things don’t go well, it becomes a real test so you have to try and keep things in perspective as much as possible.
“The members watch and are as disappointed as the lads. There is no lack of work ethic, no lack of effort there. It just hasn’t quite worked out in these first two days.”
One of the plus points on day two was the bowling of young spinner Josh Baker who picked up three wickets.
Richardson said: “An incredible learning experience for him again and we had a long chat afterwards about certain little things.
“The wicket was quite different to what he would normally play on, a little slow and the ball stopped, and he had to work out what pace to bowl, slight subtleties in changing his length, what that meant for his field placings and modes of dismissal etc.
“He bowled at Sam Billings and Darren Stevens for long periods of time and it was a real good learning curve for him.
“Positives from day two were Josh performing really well, Dillon (Pennington) was fantastic throughout and Joe (Leach) didn’t get anywhere near the rewards he deserved.
“If you have only three or four players turning up in a game and performing the basics well, you will be behind in a game and that’s what we need to be looking at, getting as many of the guys as possible doing that.
“Someone like Jake Libby has done that throughout the season and we all have to be aiming to do those sort of things.”