MELBOURNE – Stuart Broad said he didn't hold a grudge against critics who called for him to be dropped after he ended a poor run of form with four wickets in the fourth Ashes Test on Wednesday.
The 113-Test Nottinghamshire seamer had been under fire from detractors – including former England captain Michael Vaughan – after his career-worst 0-142 as England relinquished the Ashes in Perth.
Broad admitted he was too defensive in Perth, where he was more concerned about conceding runs than taking wickets, and said just a subtle mental adjustment had put him back on track.
"I think every time you step on to the field you're pretty much playing for your career, that's the pressure of international cricket," Broad said, after taking four wickets for 51 to help dismiss Australia for 327 in their first innings in Melbourne.
"You never know how things will go, you just need to focus on making sure that your mindset's right, your work ethic's right to make sure you're doing everything to be at your best.
"To be honest I've had one of those weeks where you get your tin hat on and duck down and don't really see much, so I've been very unaware about things being written and things being said."
He added: "I've gone to the place that you have to go to as a sportsman sometimes where you find something within yourself and you get support from people around you and you build yourself back up again."
"I think you can get yourself in a bit of dark place if you really read everything."
But Broad also said he "deserved" criticism and held no animosity towards those, including Vaughan, who said he should be dropped.
"Things happen and can change really quickly in sport and I've always had this appreciation that people are just doing their jobs," he said.
"You've got to say your opinion, you've got to be critical at times and I deserve criticism after the Perth Test defeat for sure.
"I am not going to hold any grudges or get too disappointed if people slag me off because at the end of the day in 15 years' time I might be doing the same, not six months," he quipped.
Broad said he needed a mental adjustment, rather than any technical changes, to regain his bowling form.
"I need that mentality as a bowler of, 'Where's my next wicket coming from?' Not, 'Where am I going to stop the next boundary?'" he said.
"It's a small mental change but actually quite a big thing for me as a cricketer.
"I think I've run in really well here in this innings. The wickets are a bit irrelevant, it's actually the process that gets you the wickets and I think my process was much better this week."
Broad also said England were now in a "fantastic" position to win their first Test of a lost series after Alastair Cook's unbeaten century propelled their reply to 192-2 at the end of day two.
"We're two (wickets) down on a pitch where you think day two and three would be best time to bat potentially, but we know Australia will hit back hard tomorrow morning," he said.
"That's what we did as a bowling unit this morning and it will take a lot of skill to bat big."