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Former England Test captain Michael Vaughan says the signs of a resurgent Australia were evident towards the end of this year's Ashes series in the UK.

And Vaughan, who was in charge in 2005 when England claimed the urn for the first time in 18 years, attributed much of Australia's success to new coach Darren Lehmann.

"I think the warning signs for England were there back home, particularly in the last three Test matches," he said.

"Lehmann grabbed the unit and got them playing in a different fashion.

"The players have been fantastic for the Australians - the Johnsons, Harris, Clarkes, Haddins - but Darren Lehmann's made the difference."

Now 39, Vaughan is years removed from the pleasures and pains of Test cricket, but he knows better than most what the players are going through.

After the soaring heights of 2005, England crashed to a 5-0 defeat in the 2006-07 series as Vaughan watched from the sidelines with an injured knee.

The following year, with tears streaming down his face, he announced he was stepping down as captain after a series defeat to South Africa.

"They'll be disappointed," he said. "They'll know they haven't played to the standard they expect from themselves.

"I'm sure there will be a lot of soul-searching, a lot of questions - they'll have to take a bit of flak, but they'll bounce back.

"There's a lot of character in that dressing room. All the players and coaching staff will get criticised for what's happened over here.

"They arrived here as favourites and they're three-nil down, so they'll know they'll have to take a bit of stick."

While many of the current crop of English players had not been in this position before, Vaughan said the pride and passion of the country's supporters would spur them to claw their way back.

He backed Alastair Cook as captain and suggested that rather than play the blame game, England needed to regroup and get down to business.

"Alastair Cook's a tough guy. I don't understand why anyone's questioning his position as captain," Vaughan said.

"He's a young captain, he's only been in the job a year and a while.

"He'll certainly bounce back and I would think in time be better for this experience.

"It's just a little bit of a wake-up call for English cricket that maybe we weren't as good as we thought we were."

If the thousands of travelling faithful in the stands weren't motivation enough, Vaughan said the players only needed to look ahead to the 2015 Ashes series.

"The build-up for 2015 starts here, for me. There's not that many Test matches between now and then with the World Cup taking priority next winter," he said.

"They've got to start thinking, 'right, this Australian side - is it going to get any worse by 2015? Probably not.' So, England have got a lot of improving to do between now and then."

"… the warning signs for England were there back home, particularly in the last three Test matches."" *Michael Vaughan *