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Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 13:56 UK

Rhodes happy for New Road fans

Steve Rhodes
Rhodes had harsh words after the defeat by Ireland

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes says he hopes the Twenty20 win against Gloucestershire helped to erase the heavy defeat by Ireland.

The Royals won Monday's game against the Gladiators at New Road by 23 runs.

Rhodes told BBC Hereford & Worcester: "We took a lot of abuse this week from disgruntled supporters and quite rightly so.

"We hope that win has put the smile back on the faces of our supporters, it was a big character test for us."

He continued: "I'm proud of the players, they did a good job, but there are a lot of areas were we can improve and we will work on that.

"We had a few home truths after the Ireland game, and I hope we can now prove to our supporters that professional sport is about that some times.

"There are games when you make enough mistakes it costs you the game, but we felt we put it partly right against Gloucester.

"Its been a tough week, but we had two very good practice days and the approach was good.

Ashley Noffke
Noffke has been compared to former Worcs player Andy Bichel

"The true test of character is bouncing back from adversity and they were hurting all week, but you have to get back on the field, face the music and face the crowd.

"There were three good knocks against Gloucester. Stephen Moore, Daryl Mitchell and Ashley Noffke, they played sensibly and chose the right options.

"We thought 145 could be a decent score, a par score if you like, and we looked at one time if we could get more than that."

Rhodes says comparisons have been made with Noffke and another Australian who starred at New Road, Andy Bichel: "I'd say Ashley is actually a better bat than Bichel, but don't tell Bick I said that but, they are both good guys and both very good cricketers.

"We sent in Ashley a bit earlier to give him a chance to get his eye in and we've seen what he can do in those closing overs.

"He is a very effective player, and it's difficult to go in there and strike the ball straight away, but he is a seasoned campaigner and he knows his cricket."

Rhodes was also happy with the way his bowlers performed: "I thought we bowled really well, the only thing we need to improve on is wides, we bowled too many wides.

"I thought the young lads Gareth Andrew and Chris Whelen has great change up in their deliveries, and they also execute them well.

"They bowled well as a group, and Ian Fisher getting hat-trick, I am delighted for him, as you know he lost his contract at Gloucester and it's nice to come back and haunt them a bit."



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