WORCESTERSHIRE director of cricket Steve Rhodes is to give his players time off to recharge their batteries ahead of the finale of the push to gain promotion to Division One of the LV= County Championship.
Leaders Worcestershire suffered their first Championship setback of the campaign when beaten by Gloucestershire by seven wickets at New Road on Sunday.
Rhodes admits losing the toss in bowler-friendly conditions was a key factor and also felt there were areas of his side’s game which fell below previous standards.
But, after a recent demanding schedule, the squad will be given a break before turning their attention to the next game, away to Derbyshire, starting on August 31.
Rhodes said: “There are lots of plus factors this year and we’ve three more games to carry on the good work.
“I think possibly our train got derailed a bit in this latest game but it was quite an advantage winning that toss and it’s such a shame.
“It was a crucial toss to win but I do commend Gloucestershire for the way they played. I think they’ve had a very good three days.
“It was a huge toss. The wicket sweated up under the covers and we’ve had a lot of rain around so sadly it couldn’t dry out as much as we would have liked it to.
“I would have been smiling if we had have won the toss and it could have been a different result but you can’t detract from the things that have gone on this year and there have been some very good team and individual performances.
“We’ve got three more games now to finish it off.
"The players are going to have a bit of a breather now. They need a breather, they are absolutely shattered.
“They’ve had a heavy 50-over campaign and gone straight into this latest four-day game.
“To be perfectly honest, they need to energise and charge up those batteries so they are going to have some time off, most of them.
“The odd player is going to play in the second team but it’s going to be a case of let’s take a little breather and then get our game back together against Derbyshire.”
Rhodes added: “I don’t think it’s right to forget about the Gloucestershire game. There are still areas we could have improved and we’ve just pointed out a few little disciplines of our game that should get better.
“One of the things that has been really good this year has been our catching. We could have improved our catching against Gloucestershire.
“Another area has been the control with the ball and that has not quite been the case in this game.
“I’m quite happy with the way we batted but there are lots of little things that will get us into better positions.”