“This team has been known to fight and we’ve got to come out there and do that tomorrow,” Blundell said. “You put a couple of wickets on there and you just never know. Obviously you’ve got two guys out there in good form but if we get one of those, who knows.
“The wicket is deteriorating. A little bit of variable bounce, obviously with the spin as well. It’s quite hard to drive with that older ball. It looks like it’s going to deteriorate even more and hopefully we can utilise that tomorrow.”
“It’s obviously disappointing: as a group we probably haven’t been quite there,” he said. “Who knows tomorrow. On a personal note, it’s been fantastic to bat with Daryl and have those partnerships, it’s just unfortunate that a couple of results haven’t really gone our way.”
Leach was due to come in next if a wicket had fallen in the final 20 minutes of the fourth day and joked that Stokes had told him he would be used as a “night-pinch-hitter” rather than a nightwatchman.
“It was the longest 20 minutes padded up as nightwatchman,” he told Sky Sports. “I stuck my head out the window and I said, ‘are we still going for this tonight if I get in?’ Stokesy said it’s a night-pinch-hitter now. But no, I would have been trying to survive [until] the morning and then have a swing.
“It’s a challenging surface, it’s day four and things are happening, so the way Popey and Rooty especially played there was really good to watch. We’ve got to come back tomorrow and do the good things again but it’s just a positive mentality. You realise how many decisions in cricket are based maybe around negativity.
“This new way, if you like, is extremely positive. It feels like in a lot of four or five-day games, you give up on the win quite early in the game, whereas [in this England team] it feels like you’re always pushing for that win. That’s obviously going to be tested – and is being tested now, because we need 100 more on a day-five wicket.”