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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 December 2006, 06:54 GMT
England were ready - Collingwood
Paul Collingwood
Collingwood is one of only two England men with over 300 runs
Paul Collingwood says England's Ashes defeat cannot be blamed on a lack of focus following their 2005 victory.

England gave the urn back to Australia after just 463 days and are in danger of losing the current series 5-0.

But Collingwood says the England team were fully prepared to defend their crown and insists they did not overdo the celebrations 15 months ago.

"We were mentally focused enough to realise the job in hand - I don't think we went overboard," he said.

"We prepared well. We've done everything in our powers to go out there and win.

"Some might say we deserve the stick, but we go out there and try our hardest out in the field. Australia are a very good side and hard to beat."

Collingwood only played in the final Test of the successful 2005 series.

But the Durham all-rounder hit a double century in the second Test of this series and is one of only two England batsmen to make more than 300 runs. The other is Kevin Pietersen.

They've certainly gone to that extra level and we need to do that

Paul Collingwood

With a successful defence of their crown now impossible, England's chief aim is to avoid becoming the first side in 85 years to suffer an Ashes whitewash.

And Collingwood believes England can learn from the way Australia have rebounded from defeat as they ready themselves for the two remaining Tests in Melbourne - starting on 26 December - and Sydney.

"When you get beaten, when you get hit hard like Australia did in 2005, you re-group as a team and really re-focus and take your games to the next level, more mentally than anything else," said the 30-year-old.

"They've always had world class players anyway and they've certainly gone to that extra level and we need to do that.

"We're confident enough to hopefully get something out of these last two games and if we do that we can take a couple of positives out of this trip."

Ponting behind England hierarchy
19 Dec 06 |  The Ashes
How should England respond?
19 Dec 06 |  The Ashes
Where did it all go wrong?
18 Dec 06 |  The Ashes


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