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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 March 2008, 20:42 GMT

England coach Brian Ashton
Ashton's side are out of the title race after defeat by Scotland
England coach Brian Ashton says his side are determined to end their Six Nations on a high after their dismal defeat by Scotland at the weekend.

Ashton and his players, who take on Ireland on Saturday, are under pressure after an inconsistent campaign.

"I've told them we're all going to get a lot of criticism. We've got to front up and go back and work hard," he said.

"I think there will be a massive determination to put it back on the road against Ireland next week."

England's struggles at Murrayfield have prompted calls for major changes to the line-up to face Ireland at Twickenham, with the once untouchable Jonny Wilkinson being singled out for particular criticism.

But Ashton has hinted that he will not be making too many changes against Eddie O'Sullivan's side.


"We certainly won't be looking at it as an experimental side," he said.

Ashton said the defeat - his 10th in 21 Tests since taking over from Andy Robinson - had not affected his self-belief.

"It doesn't shake belief in myself. If it did, I wouldn't be here; I would have said 'thank you very much, goodnight'," he added.

"It is certainly very frustrating. After the French game (which England won 24-13) and the performance there, I thought we made some strides forward in certain areas of the game.

Unlike Ashton, England captain Phil Vickery admitted the Murrayfield mauling had had an effect on him.

"It shakes my confidence, because I am captain of a side that has lost another game," said Vickery.

"I have got to front up and take it on the chin. I've got nowhere to hide - and I don't want to hide."

Vickery has been under pressure for his place from Bath prop Matt Stevens and he admitted he could not be certain of being picked for Ireland, who are on a four-match winning streak against England.

"I hope I will get a chance to play because I am sure Brian will be making some changes," said the Wasps prop.

"It is unacceptable we are facing next weekend an Ireland team and possibly losing three games in the Six Nations."

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