London:Paul Collingwood insisted England faced an uphill battle in convincing their supporters that one-day cricket was important following this season's Ashes success.
"It seems to me that the public of England are just interested in the Ashes and everything else doesn't matter too much," 33-year-old Collingwood said here yesterday.
England gave birth to modern professional limited overs cricket back in the 1960s and pioneered Twenty20, the sport's shortest top-flight format.
Even so one-day matches have tended to be tolerated as a financial necessity by many within the English game, be they administrators, players, spectators and the media, with priority given to Test cricket, still the 'real thing'.
England are currently 2-0 down in their seven match one-day international (ODI) series against Australia ahead of Wednesday's Rose Bowl day/nighter.
But, with home fans still rejoicing in the team's 2-1 Test series win over Australia, wrapped up last month at the Oval, it seems many England supporters couldn't care less about a series widely regarded as an Ashes afterthought.
"To us, as players, this is an important stepping stone, we want to continue improving our one-day cricket," said Collingwood.
England have never won a major ODI event and made the last of their three losing World Cup final appearances back in 1992.
Just days after their current series against Australia ends at Collingwood's Durham home ground in Chester-le-Street, they head to South Africa for the Champions Trophy one-day tournament.
Collingwood, who has been involved in all of England's international matches since the start of the tour of the Caribbean in January, said: "Let's be honest, we wanted to peak for the Ashes because we'd been building up to it for a period of time.
"We played well, we won the Ashes, this period now could be a time when you start relaxing again or you have gone over the peak.
"But when you play against Australia, you can't give them a sniff, it's as simple as that," Collingwood, England's captain in the Twenty20 game, added.
And he insisted a taxing schedule, with the one-day games following hot on the heels of the Ashes, could not be blamed for England's batting collapses in the first two ODIs against Australia.
"Whether you are mentally tired or not, you have to go out and put in the performances. And we haven't been doing that."
Collingwood's 56 in the 39-run loss at Lord's on Sunday was his first fifty since England's second Ashes Test win at the 'home of cricket' in July.
But lulls in form are nothing new for Collingwood. "Of course I go through periods when I'm feeling tired, mentally more than anything else.
"But you kind of get used to the treadmill of international cricket and I'm not going to make that an excuse for the performances.. I've been doing it for eight years now.
"It is relentless but I'm not going to turn round as a player and say too much about the schedule.
"We can't complain too much - we're well-paid international cricketers.
"When you are doing something you love, you get on with it for as long as your body can withstand it.
"There are worse jobs in the world. I thoroughly enjoy what I do."
Collingwood, looking ahead to Wednesday's match, said England found themselves facing a familiar plight.
"How many times have we been in this position? We're always saying we're good at bouncing back and we tend to be for some strange reason.
"We often manage to pull ourselves out of a bit of a hole.
"Thankfully, it is a seven-match series so there is time to come back. We were always going to have to win four games so that's still the case."