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Johnson rallies his troops before Scottish test; RUGBY.

MARTIN Johnson has urged England to unleash two weeks of hurt on Scotland at Murrayfield - and prove they have learned how to win big matches in the most volatile surroundings.

England's Grand Slam ambitions were crushed by Ireland a fortnight ago after Tommy Bowe scored the match-winning try just five minutes from time.

In a deathly quiet Twickenham changing room immediately after the game, Johnson told his players to bottle those emotions of anger and frustration and carry it with them to Edinburgh.

England have struggled in the hostile Murrayfield environment in recent years, losing on each of their last two visits without scoring a try.

Johnson knows a victory would not only keep England's RBS 6 Nations title hopes alive but indicate a major step forward in the development of his team.

"We only had ourselves to blame for the defeat to Ireland. To say we have to improve sounds insignificant, we have to find a way of winning Test matches," said Johnson. "You don't like to lose but that is part of the team's experience now. We will be better for the Ireland game. To sit in a losing dressing room after a Test match is not what you do it for, is it? "It will be a tough Saturday evening if we lose up there. A team needs to have that conscience and that response and think 'right, we are not going to be sat there again'. The mindset has to be right. We are going away from home. You have got to enjoy that challenge in playing in volatile situations because that is what you get into it for.

"Going away from home and trying to silence hostile crowds is what it is all about. It is like any away ground, the opposition will raise themselves."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 13, 2010
Words:300
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