Clean Ashes sweep 'far from England minds'

England spearhead James Anderson says the side is focused solely on the job at hand ahead of the third Ashes Test against Australia and not a 5-0 whitewash.

Ashes-holders England have put themselves in pole position to retain the urn by going 2-0 up in the five-match series with victories at Trent Bridge and Lord's ahead of this week's clash at Lancashire paceman Anderson's Old Trafford home ground.

Only last week Anderson, who turned 31 on Tuesday, said: "We want to win the series 5-0, so we will be doing everything we can in each game to win."

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But in his latest remarks, he indicated the best way of achieving a 5-0 sweep - something England have never managed against arch-rivals Australia - was to concentrate on one Test at a time.

"It (5-0) is not something we are really focusing on," said Anderson, the series' joint leading wicket taker along with England off-spinner Graeme Swann.

"We played really well in the first two games and our job is to improve on that," Anderson told a news conference at Old Trafford.

"We have to concentrate on winning this game and not looking too far ahead in the series."

When the third Test starts on Thursday it will be the first time Old Trafford - which shares its name with the nearby Manchester United football ground - has staged an Ashes match since 2005 when Australia's last-wicket pair of Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath batted out the final four overs of a thrilling draw.

Since 2005, Old Trafford has undergone a $A74 million redevelopment which has seen the pavilion modernised, a conference centre built and, perhaps the most striking change of all, the square turned so that pitches now face north-south rather than east-west axis.