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England 14:30 New Zealand

Johnson: We must be relentless

England manager calls for focus ahead of Romania clash

Last Updated: 23/09/11 11:59am

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Johnson: We've got to set our sights high

Johnson: We've got to set our sights high

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"Relentless", is how Martin Johnson has said his players must be when they take on Romania in their World Cup Pool B clash on Saturday.

Johnson wants his side to rise to a new level following below par performances in their opening two victories over Argentina and Georgia.

Victory should be a formality against Romania but the England manager is still demanding focus from his players ahead of stiffer tests to come.

""We need to be relentless. We need to come out and play to a certain level to give ourselves the best chance. We've got to set our sights high... You can say it any number of ways but we've got to play a lot better."
Martin Johnson Quotes of the week

"We need to be relentless", he said. "We need to come out and play to a certain level to give ourselves the best chance.

"We've got to set our sights high, higher than they were last week (against Georgia). You can say it any number of ways but we've got to play a lot better.

Tougher test

"We scored six tries but I'd be happier if we played a lot better and scored three or four."

England are almost at full-strength for Saturday's clash, while Romania are resting several leading players ahead of their game against Georgia next Wednesday.

Only injured duo Matt Stevens and Nick Easter, plus suspended lock Courtney Lawes are unavailable and Johnson is keen that after Saturday's game all the squad will have had a taste of the action.

The former World Cup winning captain is only too aware that England's final Pool B game against Scotland next Saturday and their subsequent knockout phase opponents will be a much tougher test.

"If they'd come off a long season it may be different, but they've not got a lot of game time so you want to get everybody on the field," he said.

"If you're going to come in and play one of the biggest games of your career, you need a little bit of background in terms of actually being on the field.


"People talk about knowing your best team but we know what our choices are and what we can pick and how that would affect the team and we're very comfortable with that."

Meanwhile skipper Lewis Moody says he has fully recovered from the knee problem that has hampered him all year and kept him out of England's opener against Argentina.

"Getting on the pitch finally was the culmination of a lot of work," said the flanker, who returned to lead the team against Georgia last Sunday.

"It was frustrating but I got through that game with no issues so it's all done and dusted now and I'm really excited to be going out there."

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