Gooch tells England sledging is a "compliment"
England batting coach Graham Gooch has told his batsmen to view sledging as a “compliment.”
The first Ashes test in Brisbane, which Australia won by 381 runs, was tarnished by constant sledging as tempers boiled over.
Australian captain Michael Clarke was even fined after the match for an exchange he had with England fast bowler James Anderson.
Many believe that Australia’s taunting and sledging unsettled England, but Gooch has advised his players on how to deal with it.
"You give advice on anything and different things make different people tick. You advise technically, you advise mentally,” said the 60 year old.
"If someone comes with sledging, people deal with it in different ways. Some people it motivates, makes them play better, more determined.
"Some people it can unsettle. But generally sledging is about getting you to play the man and not the ball, get your focus off the ball," added Gooch.
Gooch, who played 118 tests for England, claimed that if you are being sledged it usually shows you are playing well.
"Players I've seen who've dealt with it best either smile at the opposition or take it as a compliment. Generally if you get sledged, you're doing okay," said the England batting coach.
Gooch admitted that Mitchell Johnson had a great game in Brisbane, as the fast bowler picked up nine wickets during the Australian victory.
However, in his opinion, it was unacceptable that the team got out for such a low total in both innings.
"To get dismissed twice for under 200 is very disappointing," Gooch said of England's Gabba batting collapse.
In response to how England will improve their fortunes, Gooch simply replied: "We have a simple plan. Play better."
The second Ashes test place takes place this week in Adelaide with England’s Tim Bresnan a late addition to the squad.