Ricky PONTING'S post-match team talk is not for public airing, after Australia's landslide defeat in the second Ashes Test.
But it is hard to see how he could have indulged in much more straight talking in the confines of the dressing room than he did in his subsequent press conference.
Ponting, twice an Ashes loser as captain in England but a 5-0 winner at home in between, knows his team must win at least two of the three remaining matches to get their hands back on the urn this winter.
He must be aware, too, that they urgently need to either identify reinforcements or somehow galvanise themselves into players who can make match-controlling totals and take 20 wickets.
It was Andrew Strauss's England who achieved both those objectives to wrap up victory on the final morning at the Adelaide Oval, on the back of Kevin Pietersen's career-best 227 and the 13 wickets shared by James Anderson and Graeme Swann.
Ponting's brutally honest verdict will confirm to his team-mates that they are operating way below their captain's requirements.
"There's no doubt this is a bad loss for us," he said. "An innings and 71 runs, having won the toss on a good wicket, says it all.
"They out-batted, bowled and fielded us this entire game."
Ponting and Australia's task is to try to put things right before the third Test in Perth on December 16.
"We've done a lot of talking about how we're going to change and rectify things, but our actions have let us down. We understand that," he said. "England played very well – no hiding that.
"The week off will do the boys the world of good, to get away and have a think about what they and we need to do to work our way back into the series.
"We have to win two Tests to win the Ashes – and we'll have to play better than we have in the last Test and a half."
Ponting is insistent, though, that Australia's current failings do not stem from a lack of hard work or intent.
He said: "I'll never doubt that about any player that plays for Australia.
"There has been no lack of fight or endeavour from us. It's been our skills and thought processes that have let us down.
"We've talked a lot about how important it is to fight and win key moments."