A repeat of the Ashes whitewash in 2013-14 ago remains on the cards heading into the third Test at the WACA, but Joe Root is adamant his team's tour is not heading in the same shambolic direction as four years ago and England coach Trevor Bayliss claims they have left Australia with "a few scars".
England's captain maintains his side are still "massively in this series", despite another considerable defeat brought on by a fifth-day capitulation at Adelaide Oval.
There is the potential for the wheels to properly come off if they concede the Ashes in Perth, but Root said on Wednesday night they still believed they could produce a rare win over Australia in Perth and keep the series alive.
He refuted suggestions their tour was going the same way as four summers ago.
"I'd say I'd strongly disagree," Root said. "I think we're playing better cricket this time around. I don't think we're as unevenly matched as maybe we were last time around.
"Throughout the two games it has ebbed and flowed and you've seen us be in control for periods of the game, whereas I don't think that was necessarily the case last time around.
"So I think it's just important we try to harness those periods and just expand them and make them last for longer periods of time.
"The belief in the dressing room is definitely there. I don't think we're in a situation like we were in last time we were here. I think we're in a much better place than that."
Bayliss was talking tough, suggesting England's fightback and Australia's second-innings batting failure would have players in the home team concerned.
"We have got a few scars there with the Australian team," Bayliss told the BBC. "There will be a few who have missed out and a few who will be nervous. They've got four good bowlers and we've shown we can compete with them for a period of time. We've just got to do it for longer.
"It was a disappointing end to it this morning, but I thought we played well in those last couple of days to actually give ourselves a chance. The main thing for us is that we have to make more than 220 runs in an innings. If we do that well we can put more pressure on Australia than we did on this match."
Australia will be intent on ramming home their advantage when they get to Perth on Sunday, with England having an opportunity to reassess when they play a tour match against a Cricket Australia XI in the west before the third Test starts on Thursday next week.
Australian captain Steve Smith indicated that Australia's position of strength made England more vulnerable at the WACA.
"I think it's always tough coming back from 2-0 down, particularly when you're away from home," Smith said.
"You can only be one or two bad sessions away from the series. That can play on people's minds sometimes when you're behind."
England haven't had a century maker with the bat yet in this series and as forecast before the summer they have struggled to mount a competitive total without either of their two best batsmen, Root and former captain Alastair Cook, enjoying a big return.
"In a big series your senior players have to step up and sort of lead from the front," Root said. "I tried to do that [on Tuesday] night and unfortunately I couldn't carry that on."