Cook confident of England comeback
Alastair Cook insists England are better equipped to deal with their innings defeat by South Africa than in the past.
Following South Africa's victory at the Kia Oval, if the tourists win the second Test at Headingley next week, they will clinch the series and replace England at the summit of the world rankings.
However, Cook insists the team has the belief they can haul themselves back, saying: "It's not difficult to pick yourselves up after a loss like that, but it's clearly not a nice experience."
He added: "In previous years maybe, for example when we went to Australia and lost 5-0, that was slightly different because we knew we weren't good enough to beat Australia. But with what this England side has achieved over the last few years, we know we can beat South Africa and we have the players to do that, it's a different mentality.
"It would be an amazing achievement to beat a side like South Africa and it is certainly not out of the question. I know it is all doom and gloom now but we all know how things can happen in Test cricket.
"We have just got to make sure we steel ourselves for fighting for those five days."
Cook is demanding an emphatic response from England as they seek to improve a record of five defeats in the last nine Tests.
"Clearly it hurts when you get beaten like that. It's probably one of the heaviest defeats I've had in my career. It does hurt you," he said. "When we play well we're probably not as good a side as everyone says, and when we play badly we didn't just become a bad side.
"We have some outstanding cricketers in our dressing room but we must play closer to our potential. We had the meetings after the game so that we can go to Headingley with a clean slate.
"We didn't want to go to Headingley and drag up what had happened at the Oval. As a side heavy defeats have normally spurred us on to play better in the next game. We have to do that if we want to get back in the series."