Rugby World Cup 2011
Croft hits back at Johnson critics
ESPNscrum Staff
October 19, 2011

England flanker Tom Croft has given his backing to team manager Martin Johnson and has also hit back at the World Cup winning captain's critics in the process.

With Johnson's future still undecided, the 25-year-old Leicester Tigers flanker has labeled the criticism levied at Johnson "disgusting." Croft, who featured prominently throughout the infamous World Cup campaign, believes Johnson is the right man to lead England forward.

"The fact people are questioning Johnno being manager is pretty disgusting," Croft told BBC Radio Leicester. "I think he is the ideal man for the job. I don't think any other team in the world has such a prominent figurehead. Hopefully he will decide to stick with the job."

One of the key features of England's poor World Cup campaign was their conduct off-the-field. With high-profile incidents appearing on both front and back pages of the national press, Croft has also spoke of his surprise at the level of media attention and scrutiny Johnson's charges faced while in New Zealand.

"You come to expect the media will pick up on things when you are over there at the World Cup, and I think the boys coped with it pretty well," Croft said. "There were some quite vicious things written but we pulled together as a squad. It didn't affect the way we played on the pitch.

"It was a little bit mystifying. If you compare the Kiwi media to the British media, the Kiwis are 100 per cent behind their teams, especially the rugby and it is nice to see. Sometimes you think people are just looking for a story, a story just to have a snipe. That is the way it is and the boys have to learn from that."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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