Scotland v England
Johnson tells Brown to work on his game
February 8, 2014
Kelly Brown will play no part against England © Getty Images
Brown, who skippered Scotland against Ireland, was sensationally axed from Scotland's 23-man squad ahead of Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash against England while Gray also found himself surplus to requirements.
For Brown, Johnson was quick to quash any suggestion that he was making him a scapegoat after their poor performance against Ireland last Sunday and admitted Brown's international future is in his own hands.
"I felt the balance of the team could be improved with Chris [Fusaro] coming in," Johnson said. "I told Kelly on Tuesday and he took it tough because he is competitive.
"It is not about being a scapegoat, it is about giving a kid a chance. It is not a perfect world. We are not talking robots here. Kelly wasn't far off against Ireland. We have told him the areas we want him to work on and if his form warrants him coming back then I'd want him.
"This is not the end of the road for Kelly, unless he chooses otherwise. I can't control that. But I've got to be honest. Time moves on. If you look at the young guys coming through it's my job to make decisions for the interest of Scotland."
And the message was similar for Gray. "There are parts of Richie's game he has been told he needs to improve while his younger brother has been doing very well."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd