No panic for Lancashire

First published in Sport

LANCASHIRE journey back to the scene of their greatest triumph tomorrow – but coach Peter Moores insists the Red Rose must forget all about the glory of last season’s County Championship triumph if they are to drag themselves out of their April slump.

It was at Taunton last September that Lancashire ended their 77-year wait to be crowned as kings of the domestic game.

But now, seven months on, Lancashire head back to the County Ground after two chastening losses in their first two games of their defence left them sitting rock bottom in the Division One table with just eight points from their openers at Liverpool.

But Moores insists that isn’t an issue for his men at this fledgling stage of the season.

“It is not the start we were looking for, that is obvious,” said Moores.

“But there is no need to panic. There is never a need to panic in April.

“You have only just started the season and conditions are difficult, people are still finding their feet.

“You want to hit the ground running but there are still plenty of games to go.

“We can’t live on what happened at Taunton last year. It is a new season and a different game but we need to get back to what we were doing last season.

“We have got a lot of good players at this club and a brilliant team spirit and there is a long, long way to go in this campaign.”

Moores admits there is work to do across all areas if the champions are not to follow in the footsteps of Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire as the only two champions to be relegated the season after winning the title.

The 2001 championship-winning Tykes slumped into Division Two in 2002, while Nottinghamshire’s 2005 triumph was followed by the drop in 2006 and Moores says his men will get it right.

“We have not scored enough runs, we have not put enough pressure on the opposition,” he added. “It is always tough for the batsmen at this time of the year but the simple fact is we have not had a single batsman make a century.

“We have not had anyone stay in and make that score.

“It is the same with the bowling. We have not applied the pressure for long enough. We have not bowled consistently well enough so far this season.

“It is not down to a lack of effort, but those are areas that we can work on.”

Meanwhile, the county has hired a firm of head-hunters to find a new chief executive.

Long-serving Jim Cumbes will stand down later this year and the reigning county champions have charged renowned London-based Nolan Partners with finding a successor.

Nolan Partners has previously found top level staff for clients including the Football Association, Tottenham Hotsput and Manchester United and will hunt for a leading business figure to replace Cumbes in the £150,000 a year role.

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