Robinson promises "winning mindset"
June 4, 2009
Andy Robinson has promised changes after taking over as Scotland boss © Getty Images
Andy Robinson has promised to deliver a "winning mindset" after taking over as head coach of the Scotland national team. Robinson takes the reins after Frank Hadden was handed his marching orders in April, his side having failed to reach the SRU's standard of two victories during the Six Nations.
After enduring a torrid time as England boss, winning only nine of 22 Tests, Robinson has turned Edinburgh in to a competitive unit in recent seasons and will be looking for a similar attitude when he gets his hands on the national side.
"One of the key things for me is developing that winning mindset, not necessarily at times how we play," said Robinson, who leaves his role at Edinburgh after more than a year and a half in charge. "It's about winning and understanding how to win.
"My coaching philosophy, I think, will work together with the group of players, developing an understanding of how to win games. I believe I have the ability to do that. International rugby - and I know having been involved with international rugby as a player and also as a coach - is about winning.
"I've been asked the question a number of times, 'When was the last time Scotland won back-to-back matches in the Six Nations?' It's about that ability to put in a performance one week, win, and then put a performance in the following week. That's how you get judged and I think that's what inspires the nation, seeing that consistency of performance. I'm looking forward to challenging the players to achieve that."
Robinson also hopes to foster a regime where the players are accountable for their actions - and will not be tolerating any excuses.
"Part of my coaching philosophy is empowering the players to understand that they're in control of whether we win or lose," he explained. "It's not down to the opposition, it's not down to the bounce of the ball, the referee or the conditions. So it's about getting the players to buy into that and understand that.
"I worked with the Scotland team in Argentina last year and I saw the enthusiasm and work ethic, and also the potential that the players have. Having worked with Edinburgh as well and having coached the Scotland A side, I really feel it's a side that - I keep reiterating the word - is full of potential and I'm excited about working with that potential."
Robinson's England record has been constantly referenced in the build-up to the announcement, but he hasn't shied away from discussing it - admitting that the end of his tenure in 2006 helped to shape the way in which he approached coaching.
"I think that November 2006 was a real turning point in the journey of my life," he said. "I had six months to reflect on what I was about, to look at my values, my real core values and the passion that I have for the game and I had a lot of soul-searching.
"But I also looked at what I bring as a coach and how I was going to improve. I worked with a (mentoring) company called Footdown and brought that leadership model to Edinburgh. I've thoroughly enjoyed the experiences that I've had and I believe I'm a better coach, I'm a better leader, I'm a better manager than I was in 2006."