It's been a difficult time to be around the Notts dressing room this past week but, as County champions, it's our duty to respond positively rather than mope around and feel sorry for ourselves.

At Sussex and against Warwickshire, the lads were immensely frustrated because we did not play to the standard you expect.

We have taken a few knocks and copped a few injuries and sometimes things don't go your way on the field by way of decisions as well.

You can feel like everything is against you – and the last couple of weeks have been a bit that way.

As champions we were expecting it to be difficult and that other teams would play well against us.

Sussex played very well at Hove and Warwickshire came to Trent Bridge and played well too, showing they are a good side.

But we just have to be better – there's no hiding from that.

There is no question in my mind that we have the ability to bounce back, as we have already shown that capacity a couple of times this season.

When you see that our backs are against the wall you can see the guys trying to put in the type of performances to try to turn things around.

You know that when we do start to play better – because we have to be honest, we haven't been playing particularly well since the start of the year – things will pick up.

We have to look at ourselves and where we can improve. We have to be a little bit better and smarter.

When sides are coming here, they are seeing that Championship flag and thinking these boys are here to be knocked over. Maybe we have underestimated that.

We have had our confidence knocked a little bit from two games we've had with our England boys where we would expect to perform better and be in contention to win those games and haven't been anywhere near.

That's difficult to accept, but you have to take it on the chin, regroup and get on with it.

When we have gone through bad spells, it has effectively cost us the whole game. We are losing wickets quickly and in clusters, which you can't afford to do.

You have to be happy to sit in and absorb some pressure because there will be some good bowling spells, no doubt.

There are always times in games where you sense things are going to happen, where someone is bowling particularly well or batsmen are putting together a useful partnership.

We need to be a little bit sharper in those times because if not, then you can lose three or four wickets or concede a quick 60 runs and the game starts to get away from you.

There are some boys that are very upset and disappointed, but we have to get back up on our feet and start working at it again.

The good thing is we have now got a little bit more time before the next County Championship game and then we need to come back strongly at New Road against Worcestershire.

We always said that the first half of the season before Twenty20 would be an important time and we have one more game to go in that block. We just have to make sure we win it.

Paul Franks writes for The Nottingham Post