England dressing room is hurting like hell, says captain Alastair Cook
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Crestfallen England captain Alastair Cook admitted losing the Ashes was the low point of his 100-Test career but said he was not embarrassed by the performance of his team in giving up the urn in three Tests.
Cook was a member of the team that won the Ashes back in 2009, England's best batsman when they retained them in Australia in 2010-11 and captained the side to a dominant 3-0 home triumph earlier this year.
His team's batting woes have been reflected in his own displays in Australia, though, and emphatic defeats in Brisbane, Adelaide and at the WACA on Tuesday saw the urn return Down Under.
"The dressing room is hurting like hell. It's a tough place to be. We've had plenty of success and this is the other end of it. It's not pleasant," he told reporters.
"In sport, if you turn up and aren't good enough, you're going to get found out. We haven't been good enough, that's the reason we lost.
"I'll never be embarrassed for the way we go about things and the effort the lads put in. It's a hard thing to say when you've been beaten and you deserve to get beaten. It's never good as a sportsman to admit it, but we have."
Cook said losing top order batsman Jonathan Trott, who returned to England after the Brisbane defeat to deal with some mental health issues, had been a "tough moment" for the team.
"When you watch your mate, who you've had a lot of good times with, and some tough times as well, when you watch him go through what he went through, and try to keep it out of the public as well, was tough," he said.
"When you lose a player of his experience and quality you are going to lose something. But I think we'd be looking into excuses if we start blaming that for one of the reasons why we lost this series."