Paul Collingwood is confident England will regroup overnight and bat through the final day of the Ashes opener for a draw.
Australia declared their first innings at 674-6 on the fourth afternoon in Cardiff after Marcus North and Brad Haddin had become the respective third and fourth centurions on the card.
And England slumped to 20-2 in their second innings, still 219 runs behind, when rain arrived during the tea interval to bring an early end to the penultimate day's action.
With better weather forecast for the final day, England's remaining batsmen face the prospect of negotiating three sessions on a wearing pitch in order to claim a stalemate.
"We have three sessions to bat and you have to take responsibility as an individual to see those through and not leave it to anybody else," Collingwood said.
"In the first innings we all got starts and didn't go on and tomorrow is all about putting your hand up and being the man to see the three sessions out.
"The Ashes series is a long series but tomorrow is a very important day for us.
"It's the first Test match and we want to go into the next Test match level still so tomorrow it's important as a batting side to stand up and to bat through a difficult situation and see the side home, so we can go into the next match level.
"The pitch is very slow and people will have their own approach and their own methods and work out what shots are going to be risky on that pitch.
"We have to play well but we believe we have the players in the shed to see the game through."
England's bowling attack, particularly the seam trio of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Andrew Flintoff, made little impact as North and Haddin extended their sixth-wicket stand to 200.
Collingwood, who picked up the only Australian wicket to fall when Haddin holed out to Ravi Bopara on the midwicket boundary for 121, defended England's efforts in the field.
"It's difficult to pick up wickets when the ball does nothing for the seamers," he added.
"I know you have to use other methods but when the pitch is so slow it's very difficult.
"I thought there were times when we could have built a bit more pressure on the Australian batsmen, but they always seemed to be able to get through them."
North, meanwhile, is hopeful that Australia can complete victory on the final day.
"If you keep the opposition in the field for 180 overs then that breeds confidence," said North, who finished unbeaten on 125 on his Ashes debut.
"I think we have ground England down in the past couple of days. Then when we got out there with the ball we got a couple of wickets, and that has put us in a really good position.
"It is going to be a tough day of Test cricket tomorrow.
"They have to go out there and try to save the Test match. There is only one team that can win the game, and for us that is a really good position to be in.
"Tomorrow if we can put the pressure on them for long enough then we hope they will fold under that."
Spin is expected to play a key role on Sunday - and North, who also bowls off breaks, will welcome the chance to make use of a wearing wicket.
"Any time you are going into the last day of a five-day game then you are looking to get a bowl," he added.
"I hope Ricky (Ponting) throws the ball my way and I hope I can get a couple of wickets for the boys."