London: England captain Alastair Cook has warned his team that they cannot afford to `fall asleep` and lose their focus ahead of the back-to-back Ashes series, following their near loss to New Zealand.
According to Cook, his `dozy` players must rejuvenate themselves when they face the Australians during the July-September Ashes series,as he said that their rivals will put up a fierce fight to regain the trophy.
Stating that his team needed to look tough to be successful at the Ashes, Cook said that his players needed to improve in a big way if they want to face the Australians.
Admitting that his team has just become aware of their weakness, Cook said that they thought that they had performed well in the beginning of the tours but then found out that they had lost quite a few matches after looking at the statistics.
Stating that his team has had a slow start, Cook said that that is an area of concern and added that they needed to address that issue to see if they are getting the preparations right.
England has won only a third of their series openers since they last faced Australia and their record in first Tests abroad is even worse.
England have two Tests against the Kiwis at Lord`s and Headingley next month before they take on the Aussies, who appear to be in disarray after suffering a 4-0 whitewash in India.