Alastair Cook has admitted that England were hurting after losing the Ashes to Australia in emphatic fashion.
There was no shying away from the facts by the England captain after a 150-run defeat in Perth saw Australia move into an unassailable 3-0 lead with two Tests to play.
And Cook admitted that England's failure to play to their own abilities and Australia's impressive performances had seen them slump to a third successive defeat - following heavy losses in Brisbane and Adelaide.
"That has not been down to a lack of effort or trying from the lads or the preparation," said Cook.
"We have been out-skilled in all aspects and it is hard to say that as a player but that is the honest truth.
"We have got to keep looking at ourselves and keep doing what we can do and that is working hard to turn things around.
"It is over a number of years we have been a good fielding side but for some reason like all aspects we have been below the standards we set ourselves.
"We knew what a good side there were in England and we knew how tough it is to come here - you have to be on top of your game to compete with them and we haven't. They have been very ruthless and not let us back in any game.
"Everyone is hurting now. That happens in sport - there is a winner and a loser and at the moment we are the losing dressing room and it hurts.
"All we can do now is work as hard as we can on our games, then come out on Boxing Day and put in a better performance.
"We've got some good men around us, and we're going to need them in the next week or so. The strategy doesn't change - you approach every game the same. Of course the Ashes are gone, and trust me that hurts like hell."
The sole shining point for England in the series so far has been a maiden Test century from Ben Stokes - with the Durham all-rounder scoring 120 in Perth.
And Cook praised the way Stokes played in difficult circumstances.
"It was a fantastic innings that was full of character on a tough wicket," he added.
"With those cracks there as a batsman it is daunting to see them. He put them out of his head and I thought that was an outstanding hundred."