The Ashes: Job is not done yet says coach Flower

England must cast aside any feelings of premature satisfaction at retaining the Ashes in Melbourne – because their urn will be empty if they do not clinch series victory in Sydney.

Coach Andy Flower insists the job is simply not yet finished, and is confident all his players feel exactly the same way.

Preparation will begin in earnest on New Year's Day for the start of the final Test at the SCG, where England must protect their 2-1 lead.

Australia's troubles – including the unavailability through injury of captain Ricky Ponting – are of little interest to Flower, who has maintained all along that England must focus primarily on themselves rather than the opposition.

He allowed his team an afternoon and evening of celebration after their innings-and-157-run trouncing of Australia well inside four days, but as of today those high spirits must stop.

"I am very proud of the way the guys have played throughout this tour, and the Melbourne performance was an outstanding one," said Flower.

"I'm sure the players feel that way. But we also realise that there's a lot of cricket ahead on this tour, and a lot of cricket to be played in this fifth Test.

"We came out here to win this series – and we'll be doing everything we can to do that."

England fly to Sydney today, and Flower does not anticipate any problems with the tourists readying themselves mentally for their next challenge – having made an excellent job of that task between their third-Test defeat in Perth and that victory in the fourth at the MCG.

"You've got to draw a line under previous matches and start again," he explained.

"That is what our guys have to do. There is a lot of talk about momentum, but we've seen in this series that is not actually all-important.

"We will draw a line under this win and try to go out and win in Sydney."

England's achievement to date this winter is reward for much meticulous homework, but Flower is adamant there is no reason for too many pats on the back yet.

"When we were preparing for this series, all the guys knew the size of the task ahead – and they worked very hard for any success we've had on this tour so far," he added.

"Everyone involved in this tour will feel a lot of pride about the way the guys have played.

"But I think it's much too early to be feeling satisfied, that's for sure.

"There are other things out there for us to achieve, starting with this

next Test match.

"We've got that, the one-day series and the World Cup thereafter – and we want to climb the ladder in the world rankings.

"We're still ranked three or four in the world, and there are a lot of things out there for us to aim for."

As for Australia, England are not about to start under-estimating them


Under Ponting, the hosts have already inflicted one wide-margin defeat on their Ashes rivals this winter – at the WACA 11 days ago.

Flower will be neither talking up nor talking down Australia – but he knows they can play.

"We respect them; we knew when we came out here it would take some outstanding cricket from us if we were to come out on top in the series – and it's going to take good cricket in this last Test for us to win the series," he predicted.

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