London:British media urged on Monday England's cricket team not to panic or sulk after their demoralizing defeat to Australia in the fourth Ashes Test, and instead dig deep for the battle ahead.
Australia thrashed England by an innings and 80 runs at Headingley to win the Test yesterday and level the series at 1-1.
The victory inside three days saw Australia revive their bid to retain the Ashes in emphatic style and set-up a winner takes-all-clash for the final Test.
The media rounded on the England team, slamming their performance as humiliating, incompetent, dreadful, desperate, spineless and staggeringly inept - and dished up some advice for the players.
Former England all-rounder Derek Pringle singled out Andrew Strauss, saying it was crucial the captain now boost his team's confidence, and convince them they were not a "basket case".
"For starters, Andrew Strauss needs to persuade his team they are not a basket case who have blown their big chance after their pounding defeat here," he said in the Daily Telegraph.
And Pringle urged the entire side to stay calm as they head into the fifth Test starting on August 20 at the Oval.
"Lots of yoga and whale noises to induce calm ahead of arguably the most important moment in many of the players' careers," he said.
Although the team deserved a rollicking from coach Andy Flower, Pringle said, any sulking would only give credence to former Australian batsman Justin Langer's opinion that English players were soft and self-regarding.
Langer's damning dossier on the England team, published in the Telegraph on the weekend, alleged that mental weakness and an inability to cope under pressure is endemic within English cricket.
Most newspapers demanded the return of all-rounder and injury-plagued Andrew Flintoff, who had been crucial to England winning the second Test and going one-up in the series.
"England will need to work harder than ever. And they need Flintoff back for a last hurrah," former England player Mike Selvey wrote in the Guardian.
Selvey said England must take pride in their ability to bounce back for the final Test.
"Yet it is hard to see how they can come back from a caning like this, for so high is Australian morale now, with every justification, and so low that of England, that the gap is probably unbridgeable," Selvey added.
Richard Hobson from The Times said the match was like one of those "horribly one- sided" Ashes Tests of the 1990s when Australia were always in command.
"Except this time, England were not beaten by the genius of stellar names. They succumbed because Australia showed command of basics such as line and length, read the conditions and fielded like panthers," Hobson wrote.
The Independent also handed the Australians some praise.
"Patience has been the major difference between the sides as much as skill. The tourists have played authentic, high-powered Test cricket," Stephen Brenkley wrote in the newspaper, describing England as chokers.
But former England captain Mike Atherton remained confident that England could still win at the Oval and snatch the precious urn.
"Remember, it's still one-all in the series. Fortunes have swung so wildly already this summer - there's no reason they can't swing back again," Atherton wrote in The Times.