JAMES FRANKLIN is adamant his Durham side have “not become a bad team overnight” despite their innings-and-141-run thrashing by Nottinghamshire last week.

Durham were trounced within three days at the Riverside, with Ben Slater’s double century for Notts compounding their failure to get beyond 230 in either of their two innings.

They will attempt to put things right when they travel to Hove to take on Sussex in a four-day game that starts tomorrow morning, with Franklin admitting last week’s capitulation was one of the lowest moments of his time in charge.

“We spoke after the game, where there was obviously disappointment in the group,” said Durham’s lead high-performance coach. “I guess at the manner particularly of the defeat, but when you give a good team an opportunity they often take it, and we gave it to them early on.

“It all really went wrong just before lunch when we lost Sean Dickson on what we thought was a really good batting pitch, and then we capitulated to a score that was under par and then they took advantage of the way the pitch was playing.

“We reflected on it on Saturday after the game. We aren’t a bad team overnight and we know that. It’s a new week and we have to take learnings from it ahead of the Sussex game.

“We’d made a solid start in the first two games and last year our red ball cricket was really good. We’re anticipating this will be just a blip, a bad one I know, probably the worst I’ve had since I’ve been here. We have the expectation on ourselves as a Championship team now, and our expectation is we go down to Sussex and put ourselves in a good position there.”

Franklin has named an unchanged 14-man squad, and will be hoping opener Alex Lees is passed fit to return to the team.

Lees made a century in Durham’s opening-game draw with Glamorgan, but was unable to feature in the defeat to Nottinghamshire.

“Alex is trying to prove his fitness,” said Franklin. “It’s been a frustrating start to the season for Alex, especially after the amazing hundred he scored down in Cardiff. He’s eager to get going and watching all the runs people are scoring all around the country, but he’s a strong character and he’s got to respect and be patient with the process of getting fit.

“Michael Jones and Sean Dickson have done a great job of creating selection pressures. Sean has really shown what he’s capable of doing.”