Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 3rd day December 28, 2010

Ashes loss will be 'horrendous' - Watson

Shane Watson says it will be "shattering" and "horrendous" to be part of the first Australian side in 24 years to finish a home Ashes series without the urn. The hosts, who last lifted the prize in 2007, are only four wickets from a defeat that will ensure England retain the tiny trophy that means so much.

"It's not very good, it's horrendous, to be totally honest," Watson said after the side finished day three at 6 for 169, still 246 from making England bat again. "Going into this Ashes series we knew how important it would be to win the Ashes because Australia hasn't lost the Ashes in 24 years."

England have two days to take the four wickets needed to earn a 2-1 lead and while the contest could finish level in Sydney next week, that will be no consolation for the local men. "The most important thing is winning that urn back," Watson said. "Obviously we will do everything we can to restore pride and draw the series, but the most important thing was winning that little urn and we haven't been able to do it."

Watson, who top scored with a smooth 54, said it was "shattering" to be in this position a week after hitting back so strongly in Perth. He was also concerned about driving people away with the side's poor play here and during the second Test in Adelaide.

"The Australian fans have come out and supported us and we haven't given them anything to support," he said. "We really do have to go out there in Sydney and try to keep some of our supporters and fans onside. The way we've played, we might have turned a few people off. We're going to have to restore that."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo