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The Ashes: Michael Clarke insists Australia's dream is still alive

Michael Clarke: Australia captain not giving up Ashes hope

Australia captain Michael Clarke has reiterated his belief that his side can confound the critics and win the three remaining Tests in the Ashes series.

Having lost narrowly at Trent Bridge in the opening match, the tourists were comprehensively outplayed at Lord's, prompting renewed talk of a 5-0 whitewash for England.

But on the eve of the third Test at Old Trafford, Clarke was in as combative a mood as ever, telling Sky Sports News: "I honestly believe we can win still win the series.

"I know a lot of people will laugh at that but I wouldn't be here if I didn't think we could. Without a doubt our backs are against the wall but I think we can still shake up this series."

Clarke would not be drawn the possibility of batsman David Warner - who has been recalled from exile in South Africa - featuring in Manchester as the Australians struggle to find a winning combination.

Perform

"The team has not been given to me at this stage and the selectors want to look at the wicket and then they will let me know," said Clarke. "But it's not about one individual - all 11 players have to perform well."

"I know a lot of people will laugh at that but I wouldn't be here if I didn't think we could. Without a doubt our backs are against the wall but I think we can still shake up this series."

Michael Clarke

When asked if he would be cautioning Warner over possible England sledging, Clarke said. "No, not at all. I think David would look forward to it if that is the case."

Clarke was also insistent that the mood in the camp was upbeat despite their recent travails. "We've been fortunate. The guys have been great, their attitude has been spot on and you take that to heart if you are the captain," he added.

"We just need the first victory. Their attitude has been great win lose or draw."