Monday, 29 November 2010

Martin Johnson remains upbeat

Martin Johnson impressed with England's performance
England boss Martin Johnson is confident his side are making progress despite finishing their autumn campaign with defeat to South Africa. Yet Johnson insists England is no longer a collection of individuals, but a team gelling together and ready to embark on the Six Nations tournament in little more than two months time.

Although losing the final game against the current World Champions, England show displays of grit and determination to overcome Australia and Western Samoa after losing the first game against New Zealand.

"We're far better for getting through a Test series," he said.

"It's a learning experience emotionally, controlling the ups and downs and dealing with the intensity for some of the guys and they have done it very well really.

"We do expect more. We set our standards and we did not meet those clearly.

"But we are playing good teams. You make mistakes and errors and people get injured and you get penalised and you disagree and all these things, but you have to overcome them.

"The team's going in the right direction and we can be a pretty good team but consistency is the key.

"Everyone in the autumn series, with the exception of the All Blacks, has been a bit up and down. Good Test teams go out and are difficult to beat every week."

Johnson is under no illusion that there is room for improvement, but he is happy with how the side has developed during the autumn campaign.

"You always want to improve and move on and we have certainly done it," said Johnson.

"As a group just having the time together and going through ups and downs is huge. I think we've got a team now definitely. Everyone wants to be in it. It's very competitive to get in it.

"The medics have done a great job keeping everyone fit and healthy and the coaches have done a great job as well.

"No-one's going to sit back and think we're anywhere near there. There is a long way to go and a long way we can go.

"Loads of great pluses. Everyone who has played has played well. For those guys in sub-10, sub-20 Test matches everything is new and absorbed." Best Blogger Tips
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