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Vickery defends coach Ashton

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Phil Vickery has come out and defended his coach Brian Ashton saying that no matter what Ashton does it will never be good enough for some people.


Vickery broke his silence yesterday after Rugby Football Union chiefs gave Rob Andrew the green light to install Martin Johnson as England team manager.


“It doesn’t matter what happens, I don’t think certain people are ever going to be happy with Brian,” said Vickery in the Mirror.


“That’s the impression I get and I like to think I have a fairly balanced viewpoint.


“For some the glass is half full, for others it will always be half empty.


“Brian could go and win a Test series in the summer in New Zealand and something would still be wrong.”


“I feel for Brian, as I do all the coaches and the players too,” added Vickery.


“Some of the criticism which has come their way has been pretty harsh.


“I don’t want to make it sound that everything is fine. With the new ‘club and country’ agreement starting in July there are going to have to be some big decisions made.


“I just hope common sense prevails. Everyone has an opinion, but is there one answer, one person who’s going to come in and make everything right?


“We have to be realistic in what we’re trying to achieve and make sure we don’t overreact.


“For me it’s about getting the right balance.”


Getting the right balance could be more difficult than it appears. Andrew appears to have his heart set on signing Johnson but at this stage the World cup winner has not even stated whether he wants the job or not.


“Rob was around the England camp during both the World Cup and Six Nations,” said the prop. “He knows how it works.”


“I don’t play rugby just to captain my country,” said Vickery, who is under pressure for his place from Matt Stevens.


“I want to be a part of this team going forward in whatever role that is. I’m passionate about playing for my country and I feel I can still do it.


“For me it’s about trying to be part of something successful, winning big games and, ultimately, having medals around my neck. But we do need to move forward as uncertainty off the pitch effects everyone – players, media, sponsors – and how people perceive our game.


“Personally, I want someone to say ‘this is our structure, this is what we’re going to do, this is how we see the England team going forward’.


“We say we want to be the best in the world – well we need to start trying to be that and laying the foundations.”

 

Rugbyweek.com

 

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