England opener Joe Root admitted his half-century had been hard work on day three of the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval.
With Australia 3-0 down and playing for pride, England were batting in reply to the tourists' daunting first innings total of 492-9dec - a solid knock of 68 from Root helping the hosts creep to 247-4 by stumps.
The 22-year-old said afterwards: "We did play pretty well today. It's obviously quite a slow wicket and it's quite hard to score freely. We've got a lot of hard work tomorrow and we've got to work hard and earn every run out there.
"Give credit to Australia because they bowled pretty well out there. It is slow and hard to time out there, so you've got to be quite patient and we'll try and carry on tomorrow as we finished off tonight.
"I think it will turn. There's not a lot of grass on it as you can see, so we'll have to work hard for our runs."
On his own innings, which had been impressive until he departed to a top-edged sweep off Nathan Lyon, Root said: "You go through periods when you score runs freely and then you'll go through some where it doesn't come as easy and you have to keep working on your game.
"You're so hungry for runs and it's quite frustrating at times but you just have to keep believing in your own game and hopefully it will turn around at some point.
"I'm obviously quite disappointed having done a lot of the hard work. We'd just started to get a good partnership going so I was more disappointed from a team point of view."
On the performance of Chris Woakes, who batted confidently at the end of the day, Root added: "He's a very good player. His first-class stats show that and we all know that up in the dressing room, so it's nice to see him come out and play the way he did."