Australia coach upbeat ahead of 3rd Ashes Test

Sydney: Australia coach Tim Nielsen says his players should relax, enjoy themselves and put on a good show in their must-win Ashes cricket Test against England starting in Perth.

In an upbeat message in his blog on the Cricket Australia website, Nielsen said the Australian players shouldn`t run away from criticism of their current form but respond in a positive manner.

Nielsen showed no signs of apprehension ahead of the Perth Test, which Australia must win to keep the Ashes series alive. England leads the five-match series 1-0 and will retain the Ashes if it wins in Perth, taking a 2-0 series lead with two matches remaining.

"Our challenge as a team now, to survive and thrive, and the third test cannot come quick enough for me," Nielsen said.

"When we `must` win the next game we play, the result can so easily become all-consuming," he said. "Each and every one of us must relax and live in the moment, enjoying every contest between bat and ball...all day, every day.”

Australia`s players have been heavily criticized for the form slump which has seen them lose five Tests since their last win, culminating in their innings and 71 run loss to England in the second test at Adelaide.

"We are 1-0 down in the series and it seems like the world will cave in," Nielsen said.

But the Australia coach admitted much of the media criticism of the team was understandable and said his players would respond positively.

"As difficult as it is to cop, there is good reason for the written articles and criticism of our team," Nielsen said.

"Getting beaten by an innings in Adelaide opens all of us to questions, and the questions need to be answered by our group as soon as the Perth Test commences.”

"... Let`s enjoy this opportunity and put on a show we, and the Australian public, will enjoy."

Nielsen said England was in outstanding form, but the Ashes series could still be saved.

"England are playing good cricket at the moment, and they are rightly confident and in a good place as a team and individuals," he said.

"However, the series is far from over, and I am looking forward to our group putting themselves on the line from the very first ball at Perth.”

"We can turn the momentum around, and I am very confident that the boys will respond in a positive manner."