Giles lays down T20 challenge for Lancashire
Ashley Giles has laid down a challenge to his players as they bid to keep their title hopes alive in the NatWest T20 Blast.
“We now have to win, win and win. There’s no margin for error, really,” said the Red Rose’s cricket director and head coach.
Lancashire travel to New Road to tackle Worcestershire tomorrow.
It is the champions’ tenth game in a North Group campaign which has seen them win three, lose five and have the other rained off.
They currently sit seventh in the table two points behind fourth-placed Nottinghamshire, who have only played eight.
Tomorrow’s clash with a Worcester side who sit third is the Lightning’s first of five remaining games, with three of them coming between tomorrow and next Friday - and all away from home.
They face Derbyshire at the County Ground on Wednesday and Leicestershire at Grace Road on Friday as they bid to bounce back from last week’s Roses defeat at Headingley.
"We lost our way a little bit last week,” continued Giles. “But we crack on again at Worcester. We beat them at home, so hopefully we can beat them down there.
"We keep saying the same thing. We said it last year about missing opportunities where you should win games. Last week was no different against Yorkshire.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge (qualifying for the quarter-finals) because we've got some good T20 sides left to play. It's, of course, possible. But we've got to play better cricket and use our heads a little bit more.
"It's a massive week. The next three games, if we win them, we'll be right back in there.
“Somehow, we've managed to stay in it with the way results have gone. But, as I say, we've just got to win now.
"When we get it right, we know we're a good T20 side.”
One of Lancashire’s three wins came against Worcester at Emirates Old Trafford last month when, defending 150, they bowled the Rapids out for just 53 to win by 96 runs.
A repeat tomorrow would kickstart another Lancashire late show.
"Last year we didn't play that well in the competition until the end,” added Giles. “And it's important to peak at the right time.
“Warwickshire did it the year before, just crept into the quarter-finals and then won it, we did it last year. Any side can beat anyone. But for me, we've not done the hard yards well.
“One-day games are won in the last five percent, if that. Maybe even two percent, one percent. But you've got to play good cricket to get there, and we've been a bit sloppy at times in white ball cricket.
"We're always working hard to rectify that. We've probably hit our straps once, against Worcester. And we've got to be better.”