Scotland prepared to 'duck and dive'
January 10, 2013
Scotland's interim head coach Scott Johnson makes himself at home at Murrayfield © PA Photos
Interim Scotland boss Scott Johnson has backed his side to bounce back from a disastrous autumn campaign in the forthcoming Six Nations and avoid another embarrassing whitewash.
Scotland suffered three straight defeats in their end of year outings with the most embarrassing of those coming at the hands of the minnows Tonga. The Scots' headline-grabbing slump, that followed an unbeaten summer tour that included a victory over Australia, cost head coach Andy Robinson his job with Johnson stepping up from his assistant coach role to take the team's reins on a temporary basis.
Despite their recent lack of form, former Wales and USA coach Johnson remains confident that his side can recover and avoid a repeat of last year's wooden spoon woe. "I have worked in countries where they are very fortunate in what they have at their disposal and some where they were less fortunate," the 50-year-old told The Scotsman. "This country is very similar to Wales in the early 2000s as they have the spine of a team that is athletically gifted, there's no doubt about that.
"If we get that part right and we build a team around that and work on what is important to us and not chase rainbows then we will get more good results than bad. We have to understand that's the kind of country we are.
"We can't go to the bank and pull out player X, Y or Z as South Africa and England can. It is what it is, and instead of focusing on the negatives we should focus on the positives. We have the spine of a team, a small player pool who are all in close proximity to each other."
Johnson, who has agreed to take charge of the team until the summer before reviewing the team's and his own progress, added: "Let's duck and dive and see if we can overachieve. That's our intention. We will be competitive enough. Wales went through a bit of pain and got plenty of gain. If you keep working and keep being honest then you will start to improve. While other people are chasing rainbows you're getting on and doing what you need to do."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"At full-time I could not see the field for people dancing in front of me." Tom Hamilton reflects on the Lions' defeat at the hands of the Brumbies in Canberra
To coincide with the Lions' tour of Australia, and in association with Dove Men+Care, we are asking you to vote for the greatest Lions moments of the professional era
"He's full of empathy...he calms the water...he's the Brumbies' saviour," was how a taxi driver in Canberra described Jake White." Tom Hamilton files his latest Tour Diary
"I am not alone in believing this series could well be decided by who can steal most ball after the tackle." John Taylor previews the Lions' first Test showdown with Australia