DARYL Mitchell insists Worcestershire's relegation "is no disgrace" based on the standard in County Championship Division One.

The stand-in skipper argued the county's youthful side had the potential to bounce back after a crushing innings-and-129-run loss at Essex confirmed their immediate return to the second tier.

“We are disappointed but we have to learn from our mistakes, not just in this game but the other 13," said Mitchell.

“We lost the critical moments in a lot of games and in this one (it was) in the first 20 minutes.

“It is a difficult one to take but we go again next year and will try to get back into Division One.

“We’ve earned a lot of plaudits over the year, especially in the Twenty20. We had only four lads over 22 in the team this week and hopefully they can kick on in the future.

“There are eight teams in Division One and 25 per cent go down, there is no disgrace being relegated because there are eight very good sides.

“We have a good group of lads with a strong team spirit. Whatever happens with contracts doesn’t affect me but there is a nucleus of a good team for years to come.”