Scotland can cause upsets - Johnson
January 22, 2014
Scotland will hope to end the recent trend of underwhelming Six Nations campaigns © PA Photos
Scott Johnson admits his Scotland side are not yet the 'finished article' but is confident his side can cause an upset or two in this year's Six Nations.
Scotland have endured some forgettable Six Nations campaigns in recent years but finished their autumn international campaign with a gritty performance in defeat to Australia. The squad are boosted by British & Irish Lions Stuart Hogg, Ryan Grant, Richie Gray and Sean Maitland, and Johnson will continue his policy of blooding in new talent around his experienced players.
The Australian believes consistency and 'scoreboard pressure' will be the key for his Scotland side, but also feels his side are still a long way off where he wants them to be for next year's World Cup.
"We'll always make sure they are equipped to do it physically: we don't want to go to a gunfight with a water pistol," Johnson said.
"We're not the finished article and we get that. What we need is a good base to pick from, and good mileage on the clock by the time we get to the World Cup. But we're setting up a team to compete in this tournament.
"If we get good consistency then in parts of our game we can beat anyone on our day. If we're consistent we have a good chance.
"The game is split up into a 60-minute game and an 80-minute game. If we're into the competition at 60 minutes the scoreboard pressure suits us.
"If we keep being there and knocking on the door, the door will open. We're not far from a couple of big scalps here."
Scotland kick off their campaign with a trip to Dublin on February 2 and Johnson is keen to make a good impression ahead of the arrival of Clermont boss Vern Cotter this summer.
"I'm still here come the summer, people forget that," he said. I'm here now and I'll still be here then. "I had a choice of a position, and I chose to be part of this organisation moving forward.
"We've been talking with Vern and I'm looking forward to working with him more closely: it will be nice to have help arriving."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
British bantamweight Paul Butler overcame Ismael Garnica with a 10-round decision at Liverpool's Echo Arena
Stephen Bunting stunned four-time winner Phil Taylor in one of the matches of the year to book his place in the quarter-finals of the European Championships in Germany
The Scarlets claimed a first win of their European Champions Cup Pool Three campaign with a gutsy triumph over Leicester Tigers in an error-strewn Anglo-Welsh clash at Parc y Scarlets
Luke Campbell sealed the biggest win of his professional career by stopping Daniel Brizuela in five rounds
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said Mario Balotelli had "worked very well and very hard" after watching his side held to a 0-0 draw by Hull at Anfield