Flower pulls England together

England v West Indies

Andy Flower spoke to the media after England's dramatic defeat in Jamaica

Assistant coach Andy Flower has conceded outside distractions may have upset England at the start of their Caribbean tour - but refused to blame that for their Test defeat to West Indies.

England were blasted out for just 51, the third lowest score in their history, as West Indies charged into a 1-0 lead in the series.

Having arrived for the four-match campaign with a new captain in Andrew Strauss and no official coach, there are claims that the lack of a tour figurehead combined with the distraction of the Indian Premier League may have had an adverse effect on the players.

"There might be an element of truth in that but in the end sportsmen have to deal with the challenge we're given," said Flower, following the innings-and-23-run defeat at Sabina Park. "And we have been given the challenge of a four-Test tour in West Indies.

"We failed the test in the first Test but there are three Tests left and we can do something about it.

"It is going to be really difficult to come back from one down but we have done it before and we have to play great cricket.

"What happened before was not ideal preparation for any tour but we have to deal with that.

"As far as yesterday's innings goes, I don't think it had anything to do with it.

"It is all of our jobs to do something about this now and if we don't we will be out of here."

England will need to pull together in the next few days, with the second Test in Antigua beginning on Friday.

The team have been given 24 hours to stew on their performance and the first official meeting will be held tomorrow.

"The group we have got work very well together," insisted Flower. "If you get 25 people in an office you are going to have the odd ruction.

"The same goes in a sports team. As far as there being disunity in the camp, it's simply not true.

"We had a brief chat in the changing room afterwards, not so much hard words.

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff played his part with the bat in both innings, despite being undercooked

"There is a time in which we need to reflect on what's happened. And also for the learning of the players and the coaching staff, it is a good reflection time.

“Players have been talking amongst themselves today and there is a lot of hurt and a lot of learning which go together.

"Playing for your country is a very proud moment for anyone, they are not only playing for themselves, their career and a team, they are playing for the people that came out here to watch them.

"So to have a performance like that, where they subsided, was very disappointing.

"The important thing is we become stronger from it. We have got to think that way.

"It has happened, it was horrible and we have to look forward."

Flower also defined his role on tour following Peter Moores' departure as head coach early in the year.

"I am in charge of discipline and organisation," Flower said. "Yes, my title is assistant coach but I co-ordinate all that stuff, so the buck stops with me on the playing front.

"Our build-up ahead of the first Test was very good. We were ready to play the Test match, the only person under-cooked was Andrew Flintoff with the bat, and he played a role with the bat in the Test match.

"We are not rudderless. Strauss and I work together and whereas he is captain, I am running the management team and taking as much burden off his shoulders as possible."

But England's failure to handle the burden placed upon them by Jerome Taylor's fine new-ball spell, which resulted in figures of 5-11, has created a sombre mood.

"International cricket is about dealing with pressure, and batting in that second innings was a pressure situation," Flower said. "It is not the first time; it won't be the last time either because in sport these things do happen.

"After a day like yesterday, it is best to stay calm and reflect on what has happened, not to knee-jerk in terms of selection.

"A lot of our guys have delivered under pressure on countless occasions. Yesterday none of our guys did. We imploded."

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