Jos Buttler insists it has still been “a fantastic series” for England despite Australia moving to within four wickets of winning the final Ashes Test at The Oval after another dominant performance on day three.
Part-time spinner Steve Smith crucially removed England captain Alastair Cook for 85 in the closing minutes of the evening session to leave the home side 203 for six at stumps, still 129 runs behind Australia.
“We’ve had a fantastic series,” Buttler said on Sky Sports Ashes. “But there is slightly a deflated feeling in the dressing room after the high of Trent Bridge, which felt incredible.
“Everyone’s disappointed to come here and play as we have, but at the end of the day we have still won the Ashes. It’s still a great feeling when you hear the crowd sing that the urn is coming home.”
Buttler will begin the fourth day on 33 alongside Mark Wood, who was sent in as nightwatchman to protect Moeen Ali.
Wood and Moeen were the two men to fall as Mitchell Johnson struck with back-to-back deliveries to bowl England out for 149 in reply to Australia’s 481.
Australia captain Michael Clarke asked England to follow-on and saw his side take regular wickets, Peter Siddle the pick of the bowlers with figures of one for 14 off 16 overs.
Buttler admitted Cook’s late dismissal had left the hosts with a mountain to climb, despite a poor weather forecast for the next two days.
“We are up against it but as you do in an England shirt, you keep fighting,” said Buttler.
“Obviously our captain showed that for most of the day, but it’s a shame he couldn’t get through to the end. We’ve got to keep fighting and hanging in there.
“The weather is obviously irrelevant for us. We come with the same mindset to keep scrapping as hard as we can, but if we get a bit of rain to help us out, it’d be great.”
It has been a tough series for Buttler with the bat, but he looked to be finding some form as he moved to his highest score of the series.
“I’ve had a tough series, mentally as much as anything,” he added.
“You keep finding ways of getting out and it’s tough. But you’ve got to keep scrapping.”