London - Australia captain Michael Clarke accepted there would be no storybook ending to his international career but said he still hoped his side could salvage a win in the fifth Test at The Oval from the wreck of their Ashes series.
England head into Thursday's match in south London with an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-Test series.
For Clarke, his 115th Test will be his last match in Australia colours before the 34-year-old star batsman retires from international duty.
Clarke will bow out with the unwanted record of having been the first Australian in over a hundred years to be on the losing side in four successive Ashes series in Britain.
His 19 Ashes Tests so far in England and Wales have yielded just three wins, a marked contrast to the two Australia 5-0 triumphs against their old rivals on home soil in which Clarke has been involved.
"There are no fairytales are there?" he told reporters at The Oval on Wednesday. "But we've got a lot of reasons to come out here and try to play our best cricket.
"I haven't read too much of the criticism or the positives, but I'm sure Australia fans expect the Australia team to play better than we have in this series.
"And they expect the leader to lead from the front and stand up. Unfortunately my performances haven't been as good as I'd like throughout this series.
"Criticism is certainly warranted but I'm looking forward to finishing this series on a high."
He added: "It's been great but it's the right time for the team and for me to step away from the game.
"The team needs some fresh energy. There will definitely be some fresh faces but fresh enthusiasm as well," said Clarke.
Clarke indicated wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who left the tour early for family reasons, would follow him into retirement -- with fast bowler Ryan Harris having quit Australia duty on the eve of this Ashes because of a knee injury and opener Chris Rogers confirming this week that the Oval clash will be his last Test as well.