We can still fight: Flintoff
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 29th December 2006
He was an Ashes hero last year, but Andrew Flintoff now faces the
ignominy of becoming the first English captain in more than 80 years to
suffer a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Australia unless his team can
produce an incredible form reversal.
The odds on Australia completing a series whitewash will be very short
given the way they won the fourth Test in less than three days in
Melbourne on Thursday and that the fifth Test in Sydney is the farewell
for champion bowlers Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, but Flintoff vowed
his side would not concede.
Flintoff said the English were determined to finally give their
travelling band of loyal fans - known as the Barmy Army - something to
cheer about in Sydney, with the fifth Test starting on January 2.
"It has been a tough trip, it has been a tough three days," he said. "I
sit here obviously disappointed, upset and most of the emotions which
are all negative. But we have got one game left. We've come to the
final one now and we don't want to leave this country having been
turned over 5-0; we want to win a game of cricket. I think the lads can
lift themselves, in our dressing room is a great spirit. It is still an
important game for us, it is important for our team and it is important
for a lot of people who are going to be in Sydney as well. Myself and
the rest of the lads are going to go out there and put a show on."
The English appeared a dispirited bunch by the end of the fourth Test,
but Flintoff said it was an illusion and their pride remained intact.
``There is a lot of character and a lot of pride, I will reiterate
that," Flintoff said. "The pride is still there and it is not nice when
that is questioned and I'll stand up for myself and every one of the
Flintoff said England needed more of its players to perform if it was
to upset Australia in Sydney. The last England skipper to lose a series
5-0 to Australia was Johnny Douglas back in 1921. Flintoff was blunt
when asked how much he wanted to avoid a 5-0 scoreline. "I don't think
that question needs to be asked," he said. "I don't think anyone would
want to do that."