Vickery to lead by example
Former captain vows to get his 'own house in order'
Last Updated: 02/03/09 10:19am
Vickery: Heads to the sin-bin against Ireland
Former captain Phil Vickery has vowed to lead by example as England attempt to clean up their act.
"I don't like giving penalties away and I did. I've got to get my own house in order. If we can all do that then we'll make some progress."
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England have been shown 10 yellow cards in four Tests, with Vickery and Danny Care before spending 10 minutes on the sidelines in the 14-13 defeat to Ireland on Saturday.
And having conceded 18 penalties at Croke Park - plus averages more than 13-a-game so far in the 2009 RBS Six Nations - the pressure is on England to improve their discipline.
Vickery, though, is determined to set the tone for future matches by getting his own house in order.
"If you keep giving away penalties at some stage the referee is going to sin-bin someone - but we can't keep talking about it, we've got to do something about it," said Vickery.
"And we've got to do something quickly because at international level that's not good enough.
"It's frustrating. For my sin-binning the referee said I didn't let go and I did. I didn't get out the way but I let go.
"I'll be disappointed, of course I will. I don't like giving penalties away and I did. I've got to get my own house in order. If we can all do that then we'll make some progress.
"We know what we've got to do. We've got to listen and stop giving away penalties. It's simple. If you give away penalties you're going to lose Test matches."
England manager Martin Johnson was clearly seething in the stands as he watched his side gift Ireland the opportunities to win.
Brian O'Driscoll barged over for a try when Vickery was in the bin, while Ronan O'Gara slotted over the penalty from Care's barge in the back of Marcus Horan to move the hosts 14-6 clear with just over 10 minutes left.
And Vickery expects Johnson to come down hard on the squad at training.
He said: "I would think so. I don't blame Johnno for that. We've got to deal with it.
"Johnno was very angry in the changing room after the game and I think he had every right to be.
"We talked about it after Italy and Wales. We've got to do something about it. If we don't it's not much fun."