The bulk of the job may already be done, but England captain Alastair Cook is determined to deliver a final Ashes insult to Australia this week.
Victory in Durham moved the hosts into a 3-0 series lead with one match to play, ensuring the urn would stay with England for the third time in a row.
Cook’s side allowed themselves a well-earned celebration following their 74-run success last time out, but he was adamant there would be no loss of competitive edge at the Kia Oval when the game gets under way on Wednesday.
He believes any Test match against Australia is reason enough to be at full tilt, but with the tantalising prospect of becoming the first England side to win a home Ashes 4-0 on the table, he expects his men to go in hungry for the win.
“Our preparation has been excellent, training has been good and we haven’t done anything different than if it was 1-1 in the series,” said Cook.
“We don’t need any more motivaton. To win a Test match is enough for us. It always is
“We have a lot of record breakers in this team and the chance to add another little notch is a great motivator. Any time you can beat Australia is a great feeling.
“We’ve always said Australia are a good Test side and they’ve played some good cricket, but we’ve won some critical moments and won those moments well.
“That’s why we’re 3-0 up and I think we’re good value for 3-0. I’m proud of the way the lads have achieved that but with 4-0 you would’ve achieved something very special.”
England have brought new faces of their own to London, with uncapped duo Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan on hand and Chris Tremlett angling for his first appearance in 18 months.
England never deviate from their policy of naming their team at the toss and when asked to assess Tremlett’s claims, Cook said: “He’s got a good chance.
“He’s had a tough year with injury but we all saw in Australia when he was fully fit what a hard bowler he is to face.
“When you face him in the nets - coming from that height - that’s obviously natural height and he gets natural bounce, it’s very hard for a batter to score from him when he gets it right.”