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Giles: Focus on the task

Ashley Giles has urged England to retain their focus for the Investec Ashes series against Australia.

The tourists have so far had a monopoly on the major pre-Ashes headlines with the suspension of David Warner being followed by coach Mickey Arthur's shock sacking on Monday.

They have had some welcome news during this week's tour match at Somerset, though, with the return of skipper Michael Clarke from his back problem.

England’s preparations, meanwhile, have included a 2-0 series win over New Zealand in their early-summer Test series before reaching the Champions Trophy final.

England ODI and T20 head coach Giles masterminded the latter run and the 40-year-old, who was part of the 2005 Ashes success, is looking forward to playing his part in attempting to retain the little urn but knows underestimating Australia is fraught with danger.

And while he expects England's players are unlikely to do that, it is a word of warning that he believes must be remembered.

Ashley Giles expects Australia to present a difficult challenge for England when they meet in the Investec Ashes series

"I know that sounds a bit dull but the guys have to focus on what they have got to do," he said.

"By no means will we be taking the Australian team lightly.

"They are always tough series. The important thing for the England team to focus on is being as well prepared as you can be and keeping guys healthy, fit and confident.

"That is the aim over the next few months.

"The important thing is if we play our best cricket we are going to be a tough side to beat.

"There are all sorts of variables, fitness being one of them. We need to keep our best side on the park and playing well and then we will be difficult to beat.

"That's what we have to focus on. If you take your eye off the ball we know with the Aussies they can make you pay."

Giles revealed he will working with the players before and after Tests as he hands the reins back to team director Andy Flower, starting with the four-day LV= Challenge match against Essex, which begins on Sunday.

"I'm going to be involved in a lot of the preparation. Just to be there as a helping hand which is important," Giles said.

"From my point of view it is easy and great to be involved.

"Anything I can do, I'll be there, and if Andy wants me longer. That will be it pretty much and let them get on with it.

"In some ways I'd like to help them prepare for the game and then get out.

"It's Andy's group and they have to focus on winning the Ashes. I'll be supporting from a distance."

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