London - England flanker Tom Wood says his team-mates are determined not to be affected by mounting criticism of their disappointing displays in the November Tests.
Stuart Lancaster's side have suffered defeats against New Zealand and South Africa and laboured to a flawed victory over Samoa ahead of Saturday's international series finale against Australia at Twickenham.
Those lacklustre efforts have prompted plenty of criticism for Lancaster and his players, but Wood believes the reaction is over the top and is adamant it won't distract the team from focusing on beating the Australians.
"We had a huddle immediately after South Africa when the result went against us and that's when we battened down the hatches a little bit," Wood said.
"We said 'we're going to come in for some flack here, the fingers are going to be pointed at individuals, scrutiny's going to go up, everything's going to be related to the World Cup, so let's pull tight and look inwards'.
"The job for pundits and so-called experts is to sensationalise everything and build everything up and ask 'what does it all mean?'.
"For us it's the opposite. It's to level out all the peaks and troughs. If we win by three points we don't get ahead of ourselves, we just keep working.
"If we lose by three, it's not the end of the world, we don't all go on suicide watch. We just pull tighter and work on the things we need to work on.
"We don't feel we're a million miles away. We do have to improve in certain areas, of course we do. But we haven't become bad players overnight.
"We've come in for a lot of criticism and a lot of things have been questioned.
"If we've underperformed so gravely yet have only lost by three points to the two top teams, then it'll be interesting to see what happens when we get it right."